Ford is setting up new operations to boost its presence in the Asia Pacific region with the construction of a “state-of-the-art passenger vehicle manufacturing” in Rayong, Thailand. Costing around 450 million dollars, the site is expected to be completed in 2012.

The factory will initially churn out 150,000 units a year, 15 percent of which will be for local Thai market while the balance will be used for Asia Pacific and African region exports. The 750,000 sq metre assembly plant is also expected to create 11,000 new jobs for the local economy, which is made out of 2,200 directly employed by Ford while the rest will be of suppliers and dealer networks.

Ford will also be spending almost $800 million on local components through Thailand’s supplier network for production at the new plant.

This new plant will be a flexible facility producing a range of vehicles and fully integrated to support body assembly, paint, trim and final assembly. The next-generation Ford Focus (shown above) is expected to be the first model to roll off the production line in 2012. The Malaysian Focus currently comes from the Philippines.

Ford currently produces Ford Fiestas and Mazda 2s for the Malaysian market at their AutoAlliance Thailand plant which is a JV with Mazda. This factory also supplies Fiestas to the ASEAN region, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.