Toyota targets 1m vehicles annually
Nov 10, 2012 (Menafn - Bangkok Post - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --Toyota plans to build as many as 1 million vehicles a year in Thailand in the near future.
Akio Toyoda, the president of Toyota Motor Corporation, revealed the plan at a ceremony in Bangkok on Thursday celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Japanese carmaker's Thai operations.
He did not say exactly when Toyota will achieve the goal, but a senior executive of Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT) said the production increase will take place in 2014-15.
Mr Toyoda said the increase is in line with Toyota's commitment to promote the country as Toyota's manufacturing hub in Asean.
TMT president Kyoichi Tanada said the company will build 880,000 vehicles and sell more than 500,000 this year.
Vehicles sold by Toyota in the Thai market will reach a new record of 140,000 units this year.
If exports are included, then vehicles produced by all carmakers in Thailand this year will reach 2.3 million units.
Toyota runs three manufacturing plants in Thailand.
The Samrong factory in Samut Prakan, Toyota's first facility in Thailand, produces Hilux Vigo pickup trucks, with a capacity of 240,000 units per year.
Gateway in Chachoengsao, Toyota's second plant, produces all passenger car models, with a capacity of 230,000 units per year.
The third factory in Chachoengsao's Ban Pho district makes Vigo and Fortuner passenger pickup vehicles, with a capacity of 230,000 units annually.
Mr Tanada said vehicles built in Thailand in the past 20 years numbered only 100,000 to 300,000 a year, while Toyota sold only 30,000 to 80,000 a year.
Mr Toyoda also highlighted Toyota's plan to launch a new compact car model at the Bangkok International Motor Show early next year.
The car will be built in Thailand for both domestic and export markets.
The new model will not be an eco-car as promoted by the government, but Toyota plans to launch a new eco-car in next year's third quarter.
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