Via Paul Tans Blog:
Auto production that was crippled by massive flooding in Thailand is beginning to get back on its feet. Some companies whose factories were spared by the water rush, but whose suppliers were affected, are restarting production soon, the Bangkok Post reports. They include Japanese giant Toyota, Mazda and Mitsubishi.
“We will try to start production as soon as possible, possibly on the 21st of this month, and then slowly increase our production capacity,” said Toyota president Akio Toyoda, who also plans to increase investment in the Land of Smiles. “Toyota expects to increase our investment here over time to develop the automotive industry,” he added.
Like General Motors’ Rayong plant, Toyota’s three Thai plants in Samut Prakan and Chachoengsao weren’t under water, but many suppliers and vendors were affected. Toyota, the biggest carmaker in Thailand, has delayed restarting operations three times already, but green light from suppliers this time around make Toyoda’s target date more achievable.
Over at Mitsubishi, they will restart production of Tritons and Pajero Sport SUVs on Monday at two factories that have full capacity of 1,000 units per day. MMC plans to recover production of 23,000 units lost from the combined impact of both the Japanese tsunami and Thai flood. Work was suspended at MMC’s two plants in Chon Buri on October 13.
Meanwhile, Mazda is ready to resume passenger car production with immediate delivery of Mazda2 and Mazda3 models. Both models are built at the AutoAlliance Thailand plant, a joint venture with Ford located in Rayong. The AAT facility wasn’t directly affected by the flood, allowing Mazda to source parts from China and Japan for the 2 and 3. However, production of the BT-50 pick-up truck will remain suspended since most parts are localised and Thailand is the main production hub for trucks.