Manufacturing News

SAIC delays output at Thai venture, report says

Amid political unrest and a sluggish automotive market, SAIC Motor Corp. has decided to delay vehicle production in Thailand for six months until the end of this year, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The state-owned automaker had planned to launch production of MG cars at its plant in Rayong province in July, the newspaper reported.

Citing the contents of a corporate e-mail, the Journal says the plant will launch production in the fourth quarter.

To sell cars in Thailand, SAIC has formed a joint venture with CP Group, a Thai conglomerate. Wu Han, president of the partnership, told the Journal, "nothing will stop us from launching the car in July."

The Rayong plant is scheduled to produce 25,000 cars in the first year, and 50,000 units in the second year. According to the Journal, SAIC eventually will export vehicles from Thailand to Indonesia and Malaysia.

But political unrest in Thailand has complicated SAIC's timetable. Indeed, Great Wall Motor Co. recently postponed plans to build an SUV plant in Thailand, the Journal noted.

SAIC also intended to launch sales of its Maxus-brand van in Thailand this year, Thai media reported last October. The automaker's joint venture with CP had planned to sell 1,000 vans in the first year.

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