First BMW Plant in Asia Opens in Thailand

Jun 2024

BMW Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd., the first wholly-owned BMW plant in Asia, has been officially inaugurated at Amata City Industrial Park in Thailand, joining BMW’s global production network. With an annual capacity of 10,000 cars, the new facility will initially assemble the 3 Series sedan for the Thai market. Future plans include potential exports to ASEAN countries, contingent on the implementation of the ASEAN Free Trade Agreement (AFTA). Dr. Helmut Panke, BMW AG Board Member, highlighted the significance of AFTA for enhancing regional trade at the opening ceremony, which was presided over by Thai Prime Minister Chuan Leekpai. He praised the Thai government’s proactive automobile policies and encouraged continued leadership in trade liberalization within ASEAN.

Built at a cost of THB 1 billion (USD 26.3 million), the plant has generated 200 direct jobs and numerous indirect opportunities in the automobile supplier industry. The collaboration between German and Thai technicians promises long-term benefits through the transfer of technical expertise. BMW’s commitment to Thailand announced in 1998 during an economic recession, reflects the company’s confidence in the region’s recovery. BMW’s first quarter sales in Asia have increased by 20% to 13,811 cars compared to the same period in 1999, with a 43% increase in Thailand alone, solidifying BMW’s position as the top luxury car brand in Thailand.

Located in Rayong province, the 21,000-square-meter plant will initially produce two models of the 3 Series sedan, with the flexibility to manufacture the full range of BMW models. The facility meets BMW’s global quality standards, thanks to the training and development of Thai workers by BMW experts. Dr. Ralph-Rainer Ohlsen, President of BMW Manufacturing (Thailand), expressed pride in the Thai workforce’s achievements and projected a gradual increase in production. The opening ceremony was attended by the German Ambassador to Thailand, H.E. Hermann Erath, and other high-ranking officials.

(Source: BMW Manufacturing)

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