US tyre manufacturer Goodyear plans to invest THB 1 billion to double production capacity at its plant in Pathun Thani, Thailand, mainly in anticipation of higher domestic vehicle production. Daily production capacity will be raised to 15,000 tyres per day, up the current 7,000 units.
 
The company recently resumed 24-hour production at the plant, seven days per week, in response to higher domestic vehicle output levels in the first quarter following a disappointing year in 2009, when overall output fell by 28% to 999,378 units. Managing director Kongkiat Teekamongkol said he expects domestic vehicle output to continue ”to grow this year, provided that the political chaos ceases‘.
 
Goodyear Thailand, which is listed on the Thai stock exchange, is a regional production hub, supplying tyres to vehicle plants in other Asean countries. Around 50% of its output is exported at present.
 
Revenues fell by 9.1% to THB 3.38 billion in 2009, although net profit rose to THB 233 million, from THB 30 million a year earlier.
 
Tony Pugliese