Toyota will suspend production at one of its four vehicle plants in Thailand as part of restructuring efforts to boost efficiency and profitability. Vehicle production will stop by the end of this month at Thai Auto Works, located in Samrong on the outskirts of Bangkok. The plant opened in 1988 and is responsible for churning out the Vigo (Hilux to us) and Fortuner to the tune of around 60,000 units per year.
The 960 workers at TAW and production of the two models will be transferred to two other Thai plants that build them. This development has nothing to do with the current political situation in Thailand, as the decision was made in November last year.
Toyota made 435,000 vehicles in Thailand last year, which is a quarter lower than 2008 figures. It’s not the only manufacturer faced with the problem of excess capacity due to lower demand from the global economic crisis.
However, Toyota may have to readjust a bit more than others after its aggressive expansion plan to build more plants and cars when times were good.