Mit­subishi to be­gin build­ing com­pact model in Thai­land

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

TOKYO: Mit­subishi Mo­tors Corp., maker of the iMiEV elec­tric car, will be­gin pro­duc­tion of a new global com­pact model in Thai­land in March 2012.

Mit­subishi Mo­tors, based in Tokyo, will pro­duce 150,000 units a year of the new model, the com­pany said in a state­ment to­day. The au­tomaker is spend­ing 27 bil­lion yen ($322 mil­lion) on a third plant in Thai­land where the model will be built, spokesman Yuki Mu­rata said by phone.

Mit­subishi is adding the com­pact as com­peti­tors in­tro­duce new small cars to meet ris­ing global de­mand, es­pe­cially in emerg­ing mar­kets. Toy­ota Mo­tor Corp., which be­gan sell­ing its new Etios com­pact in In­dia this month, will also make the model in Thai­land, where tax in­cen­tives and pop­u­la­tion of 67 mil­lion are at­tract­ing in­vest­ment from au­tomak­ers. An­nual pro­duc­tion ca­pac­ity at Mit­subishi's third Thai plant may even­tu­ally rise to 200,000 units, the state­ment said. The new model will be an af­ford­able, fuel-ef­fi­cient car with a 1-to 1.2-liter en­gine that will be ex­ported from Thai­land, it said. Mit­subishi Mo­tors shares rose 0.9 per­cent to 117 yen in Tokyo to­day.

Auto pro­duc­tion in Thai­land, South­east Asia's sec­ond­largest econ­omy, surged 76 per­cent to 1.35 mil­lion be­tween Jan­uary and Oc­to­ber, the Thai Au­to­mo­tive Club, a trade group of au­tomak­ers, said on Nov. 17.

Nis­san Mo­tor Co. this year moved Ja­pan pro­duc­tion of its March com­pact, de­signed for de­vel­oped and emerg­ing na­tions, to Thai­land. Honda Mo­tor Co. and Gen­eral Mo­tors Co. have also built plants in the nation, while Ford Mo­tor Co. said in June that it plans to build a $450 mil­lion car fac­tory in Ray­ong prov­ince, its first wholly owned fac­tory in the coun­try.

More­over, At

In­fi­neon Tech­nolo­gies AG's lab in Neu­biberg, south of Mu­nich, en­gi­neers are mulling the idea of an elec­tric car that's steered with a joy­stick.

"If you steer a car to­day, there's still a me­chan­i­cal con­nec­tion with the wheel," Jochen Hanebeck, head of Europe's sec­ond-largest chip­maker's au­to­mo­tive unit, said in an in­ter­view. "The vi­sion would be that you ul­ti­mately drive by joy­stick."

A joy­stick-driven car is just a germ of an idea for now at In­fi­neon, whose chips are found in ev­ery­thing from wind tur­bines to Chi­nese rice cook­ers as it searches for growth. In­fi­neon's auto unit, the com­pany's biggest, is push­ing car­mak­ers to ditch me­chan­i­cal parts for elec­tronic com­po­nents. With the car in­dus­try fac­ing re­lent­less pres­sure to slash costs, In­fi­neon has the ear of com­pa­nies from Audi AG to China's Chery Inc. that are look­ing to safely re­place more ex­pen­sive me­chan­i­cal parts. The au­to­mo­tive chip mar­ket is set to grow to $26.3 bil­lion in 2014 from as much as $15.1 bil­lion last year, a com­pound an­nual growth rate of about 12 per­cent, ac­cord­ing to re­searcher iSup­pli. In­fi­neon ex­pects chip con­tent in each car to rise to $333 in 2016 from $251 in 2008.

The auto unit ac­counted for 38 per­cent of In­fi­neon's sales from con­tin­u­ing op­er­a­tions in the year ended Sept. 30 --af­ter it sold its wire­less busi­ness to In­tel Corp.

Sales from the busi­ness rose 51 per­cent to 1.26 bil­lion eu­ros. In­fi­neon ex­pects rev­enue at the unit to ex­pand 10 per­cent, with Chief Ex­ec­u­tive Of­fi­cer Peter Bauer es­ti­mat­ing car pro­duc­tion in cal­en­dar year 2011 of about 74m ve­hi­cles. Shares of In­fi­neon, based in Neu­biberg, Ger­many, have risen 88pc this year, mak­ing it fourth-best per­former on Bloomberg World Semi­con­duc­tor In­dex. -Bloomberg

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Pakistan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.