CHINA: Tan Chong buys Fuso’s Thai operations

By Staff reporter | 10 December 2009

Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corporation (MFTBC) has agreed to sell its truck plant in Lat Krabang, Thailand, and the local distribution business to Hong Kong-listed automobile distributor Tan Chong International Ltd - after eight months of negotiations.

MFTBC, which is 85%-owned by Germany's Daimler AG, had earlier announced it would close the plant as part of a restructuring of its ASEAN operations which would have consolidated production at its larger Indonesian unit and in Malaysia.

Tan Chong already owns Nissan Diesel Thailand, the authorized assembler and distributor of Nissan Diesel trucks. Nissan Diesel Motor of Japan is owned by Sweden's Volvo Trucks.

The agreement includes all tools and manufacturing equipment and some inventory. No staff lay-offs are expected as a result of the transfer in ownership, which is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2010.

Tan Chong will establish a new company to operate the local Fuso truck business, including assembly and distribution operations. The nationwide network of 11 dealers is expected to be expanded from next year. Tan Chong said it plans to make Thailand its production hub for trucks sold across the ASEAN region.

Tony Pugliese