On 17 January, Fuji Heavy Industries (Subaru) president Yasuyuki Yoshinaga held a press conference in Tokyo where he announced that the company was planning for 10,000 units to be produced in Thailand via complete knock-down production (CKD) and joint ventures by 2020 in Thailand. The model to be produced is set to be the Forester.
CKD production in Thailand is planned to be handled jointly with TCMA, a manufacturing company under the Tan Chong Group. The two companies are looking to found a joint venture company in February of this year with Tan Chong providing 74.9% of the capital and Fuji providing 25.1%, with production slated to begin in 2019. Fuji has also been engaged with Tan Chong in XV and Forester CKD production in Malaysia since 2012 and 2016 respectively. Once Forester production begins in Thailand, production of that car in Malaysia will be halted.
Presently, Subaru vehicles produced in Malaysia are being sold in Malaysia, Thailand, and Indonesia, and the Foresters planned to be produced in Thailand will also be sold in these 3 countries. In May 2014, Fuji announced that strengthening their base in Asia is a large part of their mid-term business plan. Mr. Yoshinaga noted that â€œWhile Chinaâ€™s ventures in Asia have made it a very competitive market, we plan to do whatever we can to promote our business in the region with what we have.â€
[Translated by Bryce Clarke]