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Scania (Sweden) and Hino (Japan) have recently updated their heavy commercial vehicle offering in Thailand.
Thailand is fast becoming a major SE Asia production hub for medium and heavy commercial vehicles, with Scania the latest global manufacturer to set up a regional production and R&D centre in the country.
Thailand is also a large heavy commercial vehicles market, with between 15,000 and 20,000 heavy trucks registered each year.
Scania has a market share of three percent, and there is great potential for the company’s business in the territory to grow further.
In opening a new factory for trucks and buses in Bangkok, Scania aims to grow quickly in Thailand and the Asian region as a whole.
“With this industrial investment as a major first step, Scania´s future in Asia is beginning to take shape,”
Gustaf Sundell, Managing Director for Scania Group Thailand.
The new factory in the Bangkok Free Trade Zone is a cornerstone of these regional expansion plans.
In addition to truck and bus assembly, the factory also includes a manufacturing facility for truck cabs, and a regional headquarters for Scania’s operations in Asia and Oceania has been created in Bangkok.
The new business, Scania Group Thailand, is fully cross-functional, consisting of employees from the company’s Production and Logistics, R&D, Purchasing and Sales and Marketing organisations.
Hino, the Japanese truckmaker is also investing more than US$100m to build a regional medium and heavy truck production hub serving markets across Asia-Pacific.
Construction is set to start this July, with operations scheduled to start up in 2021.
Truckmakers have chosen Thailand despite the fact that it has a much smaller medium and heavy truck market than neighbouring Indonesia. Last year, around 32,000 medium and heavy commercial vehicles over 4.5 tons GVW trucks were sold in the country, compared with an estimated 125,000 units in Indonesia.
In 2017 Isuzu Motors also announced it is doubling production capacity of built-up medium and heavy trucks at its Chachoengsao plant in Thailand to 26,000 units, as it looks to export built-up trucks to markets across South-east Asia, including to Indonesia, Philippines and Vietnam.