Thanks to a new assembly plant, General Motors Thailand is planning a massive increase in 2001 exports to 50,000 compared with just 7,000 in 2000.

The General Motors announcement came a day after Toyota Thailand announced it would cut this year's vehicle exports by around 5,000 units to 11,000 though parts shipments would be boosted.

GM (Thailand) president William Botwick said increased production at the new assembly plant opened last year led to the export push.

The factory's output, primarily for Asia-Pacific markets, includes the Opel-designed Zafira minivan with Opel, Chevrolet and Holden badging. This model was previously built only in Europe.

This year's volume will soar to 60,000 vehicles, way up on the 9,000 built while the $US650 million plant ramped up during 2000.


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