Honda to spend $797m on Thai expansion to boost production

TOKYO (AFP) - Honda on Wednesday announced plans to spend about US$644 million (S$797 million) on building a new car plant in Thailand and expanding an existing factory as part of its bid to boost production in the country.

Japan's third largest automaker said that its Thai subsidiary would build the new factory in Prachinburi province, about 120 kilometres east of Bangkok, at a cost of 17.15 billion baht.

With production capacity of 120,000 vehicles annually, the plant is scheduled to begin operations in 2015 with initial plans to hire some 1,200 employees, Honda said.

The automaker said it would mainly produce small and sub-compact sized vehicles at the plant in response to growing global demand.

Honda separately said its Thai unit had finished expanding production at its Ayutthaya plant from 240,000 vehicles a year to 280,000.

It now planned to boost that figure to 300,000 units in 2014, at a cost of about 2.03 billion baht.

That would bring the automaker's combined annual output capacity in Thailand to 420,000 vehicles in 2015, including output from the new plant.

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