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Honda holds ground stone laying ceremony for its new assembly plant in Prachinburi, to start operating in 2015

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Bangkok--10 Jul--Aziam Burson-Marsteller
Honda holds ground stone laying ceremonyfor its new assembly plant in Prachinburi, to start operating in 2015 To reinforce Honda's commitment to grow its business along with the prosperity of Thai society

Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd., the manufacturer and distributor of Honda cars in Thailand, today held the ground stone laying ceremony for the construction of its new assembly plant in Prachinburi, an investment of 17.15 billion baht that reinforces Honda's commitment to growing its business along with the prosperity of Thai society. The new assembly plant will have an annual automobile production capacity of 120,000 units and is expected to start operating in 2015, and employ 2,500 associates.

The ground stone laying ceremony was held at the future site of Honda's new assembly plant in the Rojana Industrial Estate, Prachinburi. The ceremony was attended by the Prime Minister H.E. Yingluck Shinawatra, who was the chairperson, honorable members of the cabinet, and the Japanese Ambassador H.E. Shigekazu Sato. Other attendees at the event included high-ranking officials, Honda executives led by Mr. Takanobu Ito, President & CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., as well as Honda's business partners and dealers.

According to the Prime Minister of Thailand, Yingluck Shinawatra, "The automobile industry is one of the key industries crucial to the Thai economy. The year 2012 was a milestone in the history of the Thai automobile industry, as the volume of domestic sales and export sales, as well as production output, have risen to a record level. This is the first time that Thailand's automobile production has surpassed two million units in one year.

"The ground stone laying ceremony for Honda's new factory today demonstrates the company's strong recovery and the confidence it has in Thailand as its main production base. This will result in technology transfer and more job creation for Thai people, helping to drive sustainable growth for the Thai automobile industry going forward," she said.

Mr. Takanobu Ito, President & CEO of Honda Motor Co., Ltd., said, "During the almost 50 years that Honda has been doing business in Thailand, we have established a very close bond with Thai people. We are thankful for the support the Thai government and Thai people have given to Honda, even during the very challenging times we faced together."

"Honda's challenging global ambition is to share the joy to more than six million customers in the automobile market by the end of March 2017. The construction of the new Prachinburi assembly plant is a key part of this strategy. It reflects Honda's commitment to build products close to the customer and to meet the increasing demand for automobiles in the Asia/Oceania region.

"Thailand has long been an important R&D and production base and is one of our key markets in the Asia/Oceania region," added Mr. Ito.

Mr. Hiroshi Kobayashi, President & CEO of Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd., and President of Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd., said, "As we announced earlier this year, we are investing 17.15 billion baht to build the new assembly and engine plant in Prachinburi. The new Prachinburi plant will mainly produce sub-compact models to meet the increasing demand for these vehicles in Thailand and for export to countries in ASEAN, Oceania, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean, as well as other countries around the world.

"The new Prachinburi plant will be one of Honda's most advanced manufacturing facility in Asia. It will follow the advanced manufacturing innovations that are now being introduced at Honda's new Yorii auto assembly plant in Japan. They include shorter and greener production processes for welding, painting and assembling automobiles that offer the highest levels of efficiency. The new Prachinburi assembly plant will also mark the next level of advancement with reduced CO2 emissions and use recycled water to minimize water consumption in all production processes," added Mr. Kobayashi.

"In addition, Honda announced its plan to expand the production capacity at our Ayutthaya plant with an investment of 2.91 billion baht. The annual production capacity for the Ayutthaya assembly plant will rise from 280,000 units today to 300,000 units in early 2014. With the combined capacity of the two plants, Honda's total annual production capacity for vehicles in Thailand will increase to 420,000 units per year in 2015."

Mr. Kobayashi continued, "In addition, Honda will also ensure we give back to the community. The Honda Group of Companies in Thailand set up the Honda Khiang Khang Thai Fund in March 2012, as part of the Honda Thailand Foundation. This fund was established to help Thai people during a crisis such as a natural disaster."

To date, the Fund has grown to 500 million Baht. It has already been used many times for relief efforts to help Thai people. The Fund has also donated about 14.4 million baht to support The Chaipattana Foundation to build the Kaem Ling Project, which will help to supply people upcountry with water for their agricultural and living needs throughout the year.

"Honda will continue to create high-quality automobiles that meet customer needs. We will continue to fulfill our strong environmental commitment to leave 'Blue Skies for Our Children'. We will continue to grow our business along with the growing prosperity of Thailand. Through all of these efforts, we hope to be a company that Thai society wants to exist," concluded Mr. Ito.


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