The Thai unit of Ford Motor Co. is planning a large increase to output in 2001, reports The Wall Street Journal. Much of the expansion will be export-based. Ford hopes to boost domestic sales in 2001 by 30%-40% and exports by 20% to 100,000 units.

The Ford Ranger pick-up is made in Thailand and will figure prominently in Ford's export plans. Ford exports to over 100 countries from Thailand, with its main markets in European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Asean countries, the Middle East and South America.

Chatchai Bunnag, president of Ford Operations (Thailand) Co., told reporters that this year the company aims to reach domestic sales of more than 25,000 units, a rise of around 30-40% from the previous year. Mr. Chatchai added that Ford could make additional future investments in Thailand if the market continues to grow. Thailand is seen as a good investment base for auto manufacturers because it has a relatively well-developed supplier industry.

Ford's announcement comes as Thailand's auto market and industry continues to recover from the crash and recession of the late 1990s.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

Ford Strategic Review

Global Car Forecasts to 2005

Market Profile: Thailand