Thailand Badly Beats RP in Attracting Car Production Investments

Article excerpt

THE big news today is the announcement of the Ford Motor Co. to invest an additional $50 million in its Philippine operations.

In return for this investment, the government, among other things, granted Ford, the only local assembler to export cars, a $400 tax credit for each car it exports.

This year, Ford will export 14,000 cars, mainly the Lynx and the Escape plus some cars from its sister company, Mazda.

Eventually, with the new investments, Ford will increase its work force from the present 650 to 1,250. Its annual production may double.

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Just before Ford Chairman Bill Ford came to call on President Arroyo to give her the good news, he was in Bangkok to announce that Ford and Mazda would invest another $500,000 to expand their Thai production facilities.

Thailand will play a central role in our plans for this region and will spearhead our Asian growth strategy, Ford said.

The Ford-Mazda plant in Thailand has an annual capacity of 135,000 cars. The goal is to increase that to over 200,000.

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Ford, which will establish its Southeast Asian regional headquarters in Bangkok, was the first automotive titan to select Thailand as its regional manufacturing hub. …