Scania has decided to establish its own local truck and bus assembly facility in Thailand. Acting through Scania Trade Development AB, local subsidiary Scania Thailand Co. Ltd has acquired an 18,000 sq. metre site in Rayong, south-east of Bangkok. The construction time will be an estimated 8-10 months.

Scania Trade Development AB is owned by Scania AB.

"The Thai market plunged from a peak of about 30,000 commercial vehicles per year in the first six months of 1997 to 2,500 in 1999 as a result of the Asian economic crisis. However, the economy has now turned the corner and we predict a market of approximately 12,000 vehicles per year over the next five-year period," comments Anders Spare, MD of Scania Development.

In the segment where Scania meets competition - heavy vehicles with engines exceeding 330 horsepower - Scania today holds a strong position with a market share of 25 to 30 per cent.

The new assembly plant will supply vehicles mainly to the Thai market. However, depending on how the economies of the ASEAN region develop, Thai- built trucks and buses may also be exported to other markets in the region.

The new Scania plant will be built at the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate in Rayong, 120 kilometres south-east of Bangkok. Many of the world's leading automakers are currently investing in Rayong, which has been dubbed the 'Detroit of the East'. Scania's neighbours will include GM and Ford.

The site was purchased from Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate (Rayong) Co. Ltd.