News of May 30, 2001
GM Thailand Announces Plans To Produce Subaru MPV First Thailand Assembled Vehicle Exported To Japan
Bangkok, - General Motors Thailand announced today that it would produce a multi-purpose vehicle for Fuji Heavy Industries. The compact multi purpose vehicle, which will carry the Subaru nameplate, will be the first vehicle assembled in Thailand exported to Japan.
The new car, which will be sold by Subaru in Japan, is based on the globally acclaimed seven seater Zafira. Production will begin this month and is expected to be in the range of 7,000 to 10,000 vehicles per year. Sales are due to start this fall.
"We are honored that Fuji Heavy Industries has chosen GM Thailand to manufacture its newest Subaru product," said General Motors Thailand President William Botwick. "From the beginning our Rayong facility was designed and intended to produce products that would meet the requirements of the Japanese market.
Today's announcement demonstrates that we are achieving this world class level of quality in Thailand. It also demonstrates the benefits of GM's alliance partnership with one of Japan's premiere automakers. GM Thailand is the first Thai automaker to export vehicles to Japan. This is an honor for GM Thailand, for our workforce and for our suppliers."
According to Masaru Katsurada, FHI Vice President of Product Planning and Portfolio Division: "We value GM Thailand's efforts to meet the demanding quality expectations of the Japanese market in cooperation with our quality experts. This program enables Subaru to bring an exciting new product to market faster and more efficiently. It is proof that the alliance with General Motors is doing what it is intended to do, which is to support and create growth opportunities for both companies."
GM and Fuji Heavy Industries established an alliance partnership in 1999 with GM taking a 20-percent stake in the Japanese company. The two partners have begun cooperation in a broad range of areas including vehicle design, development, manufacturing and marketing.
GM Thailand's manufacturing facility in Rayong 150 km southeast of Bangkok started producing the Zafira last year. Thanks to the new Subaru model, total output will now reach 55,000 to 60,000 vehicles this year for sale in Thailand and export to 16 countries on five continents. In its first full year of operation, GM Thailand will become one of the leading automotive vehicle exporters of Thailand with a total export value US$ 500 million to US$ 600 million. Subaru joins Chevrolet, Holden, Opel and Vauxhall in offering versions of the Thai-built globally successful seven seater Zafira.
(May 23, 2001)