Thai City Electric, a manufacturer and distributor of Sharp electrical appliances, plans to invest between Bt500 million and Bt600 million in a new factory to serve both the domestic and export markets.
“We plan to relocate our factory out of the 30-rai plot in the King Kaew area of Samut Prakan, which has reached its full production capability and is unable to expand further,” managing director Supachai Suthipongchai said.
“The factory is able to produce 5 million rice cookers, hot pots, water heaters, ovens, irons and electric fans annually. We are considering relocating our factory to a new plot of about 100 rai within 20 kilometres of our existing plant.”
He said the factory expansion would allow the company to increase its manufacturing capacity to cater to the expansion of both the domestic and export markets, especially when the Asean Economic Community is fully effective in 2015. The company currently exports Sharp electrical goods to seven countries in Asean – Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar – as well as to Hong Kong.
“The initial investment for the new factory will be between Bt500 million and Bt600 million, including construction and the purchase of new machinery, especially for rice cookers and electric fans because of their huge market potential,” Supachai said.
“The construction of the new factory building will start immediately after the company is able to purchase new land. Construction will take about two years.”
He said Sharp Corporation had provided Bt200 million to facilitate an image reshuffle in Thailand to expand its appeal to younger consumers.
Sharp is now the market leader in electric rice cookers in Thailand, with a 40-per-cent share. The total market is about 3 million units per annum, of which half are Chinese products. However, Sharp has less than 1 per cent of the local electric-fan market, which totals about 4 million units per annum, as the company has only been in this segment for one year.
Supachai said the company expected to achieve Bt3.8 billion in domestic sales this year, up 15 per cent over last year, when it posted Bt3.3 billion in sales in Thailand.