General Motors are looking to capitalize on Thailand’s thirst for pick-ups by introducing the production of a new mid-sized Chevrolet truck in our neighbouring country. There are even plans to export said model to Europe and parts of South East Asia.
Accomplishing this, GM has secured loans from three Thai banks, though the company refused to say exactly how much it was, to boost production of its Rayong plant in Thailand.
The plant that already makes current Chevrolet Colarado pickups and Aveo variants, will boost output at the factory to more than 80,000 units according to Martin Apfel, executive director for GM’s Southeast Asian operations. This new pickup truck might be the new pickup that was found in patent filing recently (refer to photo above).
“The logical consequence is to build where the customer wants it, as that keeps your costs down. Thailand and Brazil are the two centres of gravity for mid-sized trucks,” Apfel said.
Manufacturing of the new model will start once a deal to assemble trucks with Isuzu Motors Ltd expires. While they wait for that to happen, plans to build new diesel engine plant in eastern Rayong province are on track. The new plant will produce engines for the new truck. The plant is supposedly in its last stages of completion. Unfortunately Afpel declined to provide an exact timeline.
Truck production is part of GM’s plans of investing $467 million in Thailand while the Detroit automaker plans to sell 100,000 units of the new truck in the first year, with global production concentrated in Thailand and Brazil. Other plans for GM in our region include the reinstatement of a factory in Bekasi, near Jakarta which has been idle for five years. This would be for the production of a seven seat vehicle for local market consumption which would require about $100 million in investment.
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