Privately-owned wheel manufacturer Thai Alloy Manufacturing Company is investing THB1bn (US$29.4m) in new production capacity to meet growing domestic and export demand.

The new facility will have an initial production capacity of 600,000 alloy wheels per year and is scheduled to open in late 2017 in Chonburi, just east of Bangkok.

The company currently exports 70% of its output to some 20 countries worldwide. It said it has received significant new orders from clients in Europe and is also looking to benefit from rebounding vehicle production in its home market.

It expects sales to rise by 15-20% this year and then to double in 2018 once the plant is fully operational.

The Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) expects vehicle production in Thailand to rise close to 3% to around 2m units in 2017.

The new facility will have a fully-automated production process, according to a company official and capacity can be doubled to 1.2m units per year when needed.

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