News of May 16, 2001
Fiat Auto (Thailand Ltd. And General Motors (Thailand) Ltd. Announce Agreement To Manufacture Alfa Romeo 156 In Thailand
Bangkok - Fiat Auto (Thailand) Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Fiat Auto S.p.A. of Italy, and General Motors (Thailand) Ltd. announced an assembly contract agreement to manufacture the Alfa Romeo 156 at GM's facility in Rayong, Thailand.
Production is expected to commence by the first quarter of 2002. Annual output is expected to reach some 4,000 cars. Fiat Auto's overall industrial investment will total approximately US$10 million.
"This initiative is important because it forms part of our strategy for strengthening Fiat Auto's presence in markets with high growth potential in the automobile sector," said Pietro Sighicelli, Vice President, Overseas Operations, Fiat Auto S.p.A. at the agreement signing ceremony in Bangkok. "We want to bank upon and fully exploit the high prestige of the Alfa Romeo brand and especially of the Alfa 156, which has won many awards including the `Car of the Year Award,' Europe's most prestigious accolade."
"The assembly contract agreement with GM Thailand is a further step within the strategic industrial alliance established last year between Fiat and General Motors," Sighicelli added.
According to William Botwick, President of General Motors Thailand: "Today's agreement demonstrates the benefit of GM's alliance with Fiat in Asia Pacific. Our Rayong facility was designed to be flexible, to allow us to expand production and build several vehicles on the same line at the same time. It also represents a further endorsement of the world class quality level we are building in Rayong that has enabled us to successfully export the Zafira to five continents."
"We are pleased to be adding the Alfa Romeo 156 to our factory's product lineup. Alfa Romeo is one of the most prestigious names in our industry. It is synonymous with European styling, luxury and quality.
"By signing today's agreement, Fiat is demonstrating its commitment to the Asia Pacific market. At the same time, Fiat is demonstrating its faith in the GM assembly center and the people of Thailand," Botwick said.
Alfa Romeos manufactured in Thailand are targeted for export to Asia Pacific markets such as Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Sri Lanka. Fiat Auto is studying cooperation plans with its current local importer, Thai Prestige Auto, for the distribution of its vehicles.
General Motors Thailand is a subsidiary of the US-based General Motors Corporation, was established as part of GM's global strategy to strengthen its presence in the Asia Pacific Region. GM Thailand Assembly Center is located on the Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate in Rayong Province, representing an investment of more than US$ 650 million with its 130,000 units annual production capacity. Since the start-up of the production of Zafira - a compact MPV in mid 2000, over 90% of the output have been shipped to global markets under GM's leading brands including Chevrolet, Holden, Opel and Vauxhall. GM Thailand Assembly Center is currently increasing its production portfolio to include other GM cars and those of its strategic alliances.
(May 11, 2001)