Prodrive, the British-based motorsport and automotive technology group, has opened a new design and styling office in Thailand to support Ford#;s vehicle personalisation business.

The new operation is part of Prodrive#;s growing automotive technology division and will develop a range of accessories for Ford Ranger and Courier utility (pickup truck) vehicles manufactured at Rayong, 100 miles south of Bangkok.  The products are manufactured by a third party and fitted to the vehicles off the production line.

The Ford Ranger is shipped from Thailand for sale throughout South East Asia, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and New Zealand, and supplied in kit form for local assembly in South Africa and Malaysia.

Prodrive#;s operation is based in Bangkok and will initially employ 15 people.  Based on the success of Ford#;s vehicle personalisation business in both North America and Europe, the Prodrive operation is expected to grow with the Ford business throughout Asia.