Aichi Steel of Japan to build forged parts plant in Thailand

Construction News

Japan’s Aichi Steel Corp. plans to construct a factory in Thailand as soon as 2012 as automakers boost procurement in the country.

The company will initially invest 1-2 billion yen (US$12.1-24.3 million) to launch production of crankshafts, gears and other forged products there. At start-up, the plant will be able to turn out 10,000 tons to 20,000 tons per year, with plans to expand capacity by around 60 per cent in 2014 or 2015 as customer demand grows.

Thailand is becoming a production base for vehicles destined for other developing countries, as shown by the fact that Toyota Motor Corp. exported more than 1 million vehicles from that country last July. The automaker will expand assembly capacity for its IMV strategic vehicle series by 80 per cent this year and will boost engine production capacity as well.

Aichi Steel currently makes 20,000 tons of forged parts for Southeast Asia each year in the Philippines, with facilities in such locations as Thailand and Indonesia used only for final finishing. However, the Philippine plant is at full capacity, prompting the decision to build the Thai facility.

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