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GM Thailand and Southeast Asia Operations recently celebrated the production of its millionth vehicle – a Chevrolet Trailblazer – since operations began in 2000 at the Rayong assembly plant. The celebration coincided with a visit by GM CEO Mary Barra and president Dan Ammann.

GM’s facility in Rayong houses 4,300 employees. One of five new plants built outside North America in the late 1990s, Rayong incorporates GM’s Global Manufacturing System (GMS), a production system based on the principles of lean manufacturing. The main elements of GMS include employee involvement, continuous improvement, standardisation, short lead-time and built-in quality.

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Rayong has the ability to produce different models and variants on the same line without incurring unnecessary downtime. This enabled the facility to successfully launch a totally renewed lineup in the past two years. The facility enjoyed record exports last year, shipping almost 44,000 vehicles to 77 countries including Malaysia.

Barra and Ammann also visited GM Thailand’s Powertrain Facility and congratulated the team for building 100,000 engines from its opening in September 2011 to May 2013. GM’s only diesel engine plant in the region is producing second-generation four-cylinder Duramax turbodiesel engines for the Chevy Colorado pick-up truck and Trailblazer SUV.