Mazda to shift some output from Thailand to Japan

BANGKOK: Mazda Motor Corp. is shifting some production of cars destined for the Australian market from Thailand to Japan, citing the adverse impact of a stronger Thai baht, according to the Nikkei newspaper.

Assembly of CX-3 sports utility vehicles will be moved to its Yamaguchi factory in southwest Japan this year, the report said, without citing anyone. Mazda has the capacity to make about 135,000 cars in Thailand annually.

The baht has climbed more than 8% against the dollar over the past year, hurting Thailand’s export-oriented economy.

Thailand is on track for its slowest economic growth since 2014, facing headwinds including the US-China trade dispute and political uncertainty.

Despite the slowdown outlook, Mazda plans to allocate around one billion baht (RM137.1 million) to upgrade its factory in Thailand next year.

The AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT) plant in Rayong is a joint venture with Ford that produces 270,000 units a year. With half ownership, Mazda has capacity of 135k units at AAT.

According to Mazda Sales Thailand president Chanchai Trakarnudomsuk, the investment will go towards the upgrading of the jig and die tooling system at AAT, which currently rolls out the Mazda 2, Mazda 3, Mazda CX-3 and Mazda BT-50 pick-up truck, both for domestic consumption and export. - Bloomberg/Asia News Network
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