Mulally, who is also the president of the company said that the new plant will be responsible to produce the next-generation Ford Focus where 855 of those rolled out will be intended for the export market, particularly for the Asia-Pacific markets. The rest of them will be allocated forh the Thailand market.
Joe Hinrichs, the Group vice-president and president for Asia Pacific and Africa concurred, adding that the USD450million investments indicates the company’s long-term commitment to the automotive industry of the country as well its role to become an export hub and a global production centre for the company.
The new Ford Focus is built based on the new Global C-Car platform where the company is planning to sell up to 2 million units globally. This segment is the largest vehicle segment in the global automotive industry and would by 2013 account for up to 28% of the worldwide passenger car sales. The Rayong assembly plant, which covers 750,000 square meters is a fully owned facility by the company and would include a full integrated system that encompasses body assembly, plant, trim and final assembly lines. It would seek to provide up to 11,000 new jobs where 2,220 are direct employments with the rest to come from indirect jobs. Ford will also be procuring local components through the country’s supplier network which will be worth up to USD800million.
Ford decided that Thailand is the best place to build its new plant after considering the long-term prospects provided for by the Thailand government in terms of export infrastructure, supply of raw materials, skilled employments and support for logistics. It has also been enjoying some tremendous success in their joint venture with Mazda in Thailand where some 175,000 Ford Rangers and 100,000 Ford Fiestas have been produced since October 2007 from its Rayong AutoAlliance plant. The current plant will continue to operate and roll out its existing models while the new one is expected to be built in and around the same vicinity.