Thailand's cabinet approved a 3.42 billion baht ($113 million) budget on Monday to develop the country's car industry, aiming in particular to develop a skilled workforce vital for the sector to build on its success.
Last week's deadly Japanese earthquake could pose a risk in the short term, although analysts and officials are still trying to gauge the impact on the supply chain and production lines. Some of Japan's largest manufacturers -- including Toyota Motor, Honda and Nissan -- have shut down facilities in northern Japan. "Plants in Thailand may need to adjust capacity to produce parts for automobiles for Japan as some plants that supply car parts may have been affected by the quake," said Suparat Sirisuwanangura, who heads the FTI's Automotive Industry Club. Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said the quake would have a short-term impact on the Thai car industry as some parts for Japanese-owned factories in Thailand were imported from Japan.