Industry > Business

Suzuki to shutter automotive production facility in Thailand

This move is meant to optimize its global production sites

This Suzuki plant in Rayong will wind up operations by the end of the year. PHOTO FROM SUZUKI

The Rayong province in Thailand is a favorite destination for automotive makers and many businesses worldwide. Mainly, it is because of its proximity to a major seaport and the many fiscal incentives that it offers to companies that put up their operations here.

One of those was the eco-car project in 2007. This enticed Suzuki Motor Corporation to establish Suzuki Motor Thailand (SMT) and inaugurate a 12,681,000-baht (P20.199 million) facility in Pluakdaeng.

The Rayong plant produces the Swift, the Celerio, and the Ciaz for the Thai local market. PHOTOS FROM SUZUKI

Employing around 800 people, this factory produces around 60,000 units annually. Of this number, 88% are sold in the domestic market, while 12% are being exported. The models assembled in this plant include the Swift, the Ciaz, and the Celerio.

The facility was an integral part of SMT’s business. This is why it was a complete shocker when the Japanese company announced that it was closing down the facility by the end of the year.

Sales and after-sales operations in Thailand will continue, but models will now be imported. PHOTO FROM SUZUKI

This decision was made because of the company’s pivot to electrification and its goal of achieving carbon neutrality. SMT, for one, plans to introduce electrified models in the country, which include hybrid vehicles.

SMT will introduce more electrified models in Thailand in the future. PHOTOS FROM SUZUKI

And so, it makes more business sense to just source its offerings from other existing facilities than spending a fortune retooling the Rayong plant.

While SMT will continue its sales and after-sales operations, it will now sell CBUs (completely built-up units) produced by other facilities in ASEAN, India, and Japan.

Red Santiago

A jack of all trades, Red is passionate about cars, motorcycles and audio. He sometimes drives for a ride-hailing app company—just because he really loves driving.