Ford is planning to invest US$1bn to build a new car plant in Thailand, according to Reuters. The plant would produce up to 150,000 vehicles a year, 80% of which would be for export.
Ford is apparently waiting for clarify on Thai government policy towards foreign businesses. The new post-coup administration has recently proposed tighter restrictions on some foreign businesses.
Ford reportedly wants to use Thailand as a low-cost production base for small cars. Currently most of the production there is focused on pick-ups.
In a statement Ford said: “We are continuing to work with the government on a possible investment plan and we believe that a small car investment in Thailand would be compatible with the government’s sufficiency economy objectives.”
Ford was referring to a policy that encourages saving, frugality and household debt reduction – a policy that has been touted by Surayud Chulanont, the army veteran who has been appointed Thailand’s interim prime minister.