First Subaru assembly plant outside Japan opens in Thailand
Tan Chong International Limited (TCIL) officially unveiled its first Subaru assembly plant today, a sprawling facility that occupies over 100,000m2 in Bangkok’s Ladkrabang Industrial Estate.
Most notably, this is the first plant outside Japan to fully produce Subaru cars in Asia, and will kick-off with the fifth generation Subaru Forester, the first completely knocked-down (CKD) model to be assembled at the plant.
With an initial investment of ฿5 billion, the plant will deliver more than 6,000 Subaru Foresters in its first operating year to meet demand for Subaru vehicles in Southeast Asia, which will see it distributed to Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia. Some 100 cars have already been delivered to customers in Thailand.
Approximately 400 local highly-skilled hires will work alongside a team of expatriates from Japan and Singapore to ensure the cars are built to the same exacting standards as the production facilities in Japan.
Mr. Glenn Tan, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of TCIL, said, “This is truly a milestone for us, to be able to build Subaru cars ourselves in Thailand. From distribution, dealerships and aftersales, we are now also manufacturing Subaru cars. This strategic long-term move will allow us to better manage our supply chain, widen our product line up, localise better and be less dependent on supply from Japan. We will be better able to respond and meet consumer demand for Subaru vehicles in the region, and perhaps even beyond the region in future.”
The plant is governed by Tan Chong Subaru Automotive (Thailand) Limited (TCSAT), a joint venture between Hong Kong- listed TCIL and Japan’s Subaru Corporation. TCIL, headquartered in Singapore, holds a 74.9 per cent stake through its subsidiary, TC Manufacturing and Assembly (Thailand) Limited, while Subaru Corporation holds the remaining 25.1 per cent.