BUSINESS & TRAVEL
HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Thailand’s auto production in 2009 set to fall 17%

Thailand’s auto production in 2009 set to fall 17%

A sluggish global economy sparked by the financial crisis in the US is expected to hurt Thailand’s automobile production in 2009 with a projected 17.24 percent drop from this year’s level, according to a senior industry executive.
Adisak Rohitasune, senior vice president of Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said Thailand’s auto exports next year are expected to decline to a projected 1.2 million units, down 250,000 units from this year’s 1.45 million. Next year’s initial auto production will be similar to actual production in 2007.
In an attempt to cut down expenses, Adisak said Honda will reduce overtime for its workforce in line with the expected drop in production.
Still, the forecast for 2009 is better than the Asian financial crisis in 1997 he said. On that occasion 75 per cent of Thailand’s auto production was wiped out for the year.
Total exports of cars, motorcycles and engines during the first nine months of this year were valued about Bt70 billion, he said.
On the plus side, Adisak added, Thailand’s auto exports do not depend so much on the US market as key importers are Asian countries, Australia, the Middle East and Latin America. (TNA)