Harman building B2.8bn Thai factory

Construction News
Mr Sobottka is confident about Harman’s investment in Thailand despite the ongoing political uncertainty involving Mr Srettha.

Harman building B2.8bn Thai factory

Harman, a US-based subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, is building its first Southeast Asian factory, with Thailand chosen as its production base to export electronic products for cars.

“Thailand has solid experience in automotive and related industries. This prompted us to invest here, hoping to use the country as a regional export hub,” said Sami Krimi, Harman’s head of operations.

Under the first phase of its business plan, the new factory valued at 2.8 billion baht will be developed on 47,000 square metres of land in Laem Chabang, Chon Buri, which is in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC).

The government wants to turn the EEC, which covers parts of Chon Buri, Rayong and Chachoengsao, into the country’s high-tech industrial hub, hosting targeted S-curve industries including smart electronics and new-generation cars.

Harman expects the new plant could create jobs for 1,200 workers.

Plant construction is scheduled to be completed in the second quarter of next year, with commercial operations starting to deliver products to customers by the first quarter of 2026, said Christian Sobottka, president of Harman.

The company plans to produce 10 types of electronic products, including car speakers, amplifiers and automotive sound systems. Most of the products will be exported, he said.

Mr Sobottka recently met Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin to discuss Harman’s business plan in Thailand, assuring him of the company’s investment confidence in the country.

The expansion of Harman’s business into Thailand followed Mr Srettha’s trip to the US late last year. One of the missions of his entourage was to encourage American firms to invest in Thailand.

“We are not worried about the political situation in Thailand because we focus on long-term investment. Thailand and the US have a good relationship,” said Mr Sobottka.

The Constitutional Court set July 10 as the start date for a case seeking the dismissal of Mr Srettha, following a cabinet appointment made by the premier that allegedly breached ethics rules, according to media reports.

Harman is looking forward to expanding its manufacturing facility, but a final decision will be determined by market and economic circumstances, said Mr Sobottka.

The company plans to make entertainment systems for cars in the second phase, which may start between 2027 and 2028, said Daniel Jonas, Harman’s vice-president for global manufacturing.

Source: https://www.bangkokpost.com/business/general/2816475/harman-building-b2-8bn-thai-factory