Three Automakers Shut Thai Operations Following Coup

By: Jennifer Dylan


Nissan Motor Co, Honda Motor Co, and Mazda Motor Co. have closed their operations in Thailand because of the military coup in said territory. Said closures were reported to be based on the advice given by the Thai government. They were done to shun the probability of damage and ills to the automakers.

Nissan is Japan's second-largest automaker. The company has 2 factories in Thailand and both were closed. This information was divulged by Mihoko Takeda, Nissan's spokesperson. According to the spokesperson, the restart of Nissan's operations is still unknown. Honda, which is Japan's third-largest automaker, will stop its factory's dayshift. Mazda, on the other hand, will also suspend its operations because of the coup.

The three Japanese automakers are producing vehicles in Thailand to support the domestic market as well as their export to Southeast Asia. Nissan is spending 29 billion baht or $769 million to increase the production of as well as the construction and assembly of vehicles to more than half of the previous production. The company is aiming to produce 200,000 units by the end of the year 2008. This production will make Thailand the third-largest production base in Asia next to Japan and China, respectively.

The expansion of Nissan's plant will enable the company to export pickup trucks and other vehicles through Thailand's plants. Locally manufactured vehicles of the automaker include Frontier pickup trucks, Sunny cars, Teana sedans and Cefiro cars. Nissan's Thailand plants produce approximately 200 vehicles per day.

Honda suspends its auto plant operations for its day shift. According to Yuriko Yabe, spokesperson of Honda, the operation will resume at 5 pm. Due to the suspension of operation, Honda will experience lose of production of about 240 vehicles. City, Civic and Jazz compact cars, Accord sedans, CRV SUVs, motorcycles and power products are the vehicles and products manufactured by Honda in Thailand. Honda also has two factories in Thailand one for cars and the other for motorcycles. The plant for motorcycles is operating normally.

Mazda, on one hand, did not release any statement regarding the closure of its operations due to the coup.

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