The next-generation Focus built in Thailand is
earmarked for export to Australia. This will be a more competitively
priced and/or specified Focus from Thailand, which has a free-trade
agreement with Australia.
Thailand’s new Ford Focus
Four-door sedan and five-door hatchback versions
of the MkIII Focus made their global debuts at the Detroit motor
show in January, where FoMoCo said it next Focus would be sold in
122 countries after production started in North America and Europe
in early 2012.
Ford will invest $US450 million to construct a
state-of-the-art manufacturing plant in Rayong to produce the Focus
in Thailand from 2012.
The new passenger car plant will have initial
production capacity of 150,000 vehicles, with 85 percent of
production destined for markets outside Thailand. Ford said the new
plant would produce the next-generation Focus from 2012 for Thailand
and other Asia-Pacific markets, as part of its aggressive expansion
strategy in the local and Africa regions.
Ford has also committed to producing its latest
Fiesta in Thailand for Australia this year, though there is no word
on Mazda3 production in Thailand.
Ford said it would buy up to $US800 million worth
of local components a year through Thailand’s local supplier network,
and that the facility has the potential to support up to 11,000 new
jobs - including 2,200 direct factory jobs.
Ford Asia Pacific and Africa president Joe
Hinrichs said the investment underscored Ford’s long term commitment
to Thailand and its role as a global production and export hub for
“The decision to build our new plant was
supported by Thailand’s world-class automotive industry, and
logistics and export infrastructure,” he said.
“Thailand’s commitment to the continued growth of
its world-class auto industry has given Ford the opportunity to
further leverage the skilled local work force and market expertise,
as well as the strategic footprint that we have already established
Amidst the recent depression, this is nothing but
good news for Thailand, and the Eastern Seaboard in particular.