Mazda Motor further extends Thai plant suspension on coronavirus-hit sluggish demand

10, Apr. 2020

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BANGKOK, NNA - The Thai joint venture between Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. will extend a halt of its production until April 26 amid the uncertain prospects for local and export demand, hit by the coronavirus pandemic, a Mazda spokesman told NNA on Thursday.

Auto Alliance (Thailand) Co. originally had planned to suspend production for about 10 days from March 30.

The plant, which has an annual production capacity of around 270,000 units, half of which is for each partner, builds Mazda 2 and 3 compact cars, Mazda CX-3 and CX-30 sport-utility vehicles as well as the BT-50 pickup truck for the Japanese automaker, while also manufacturing Ford Ranger truck and Ford Everest SUV.

Mazda Motor sells its own brand vehicles for the local and overseas markets, including Australia. The spokesman declined to comment on an impact from the additional extension of a suspension of the Thai plant operation on its business.

He added that the Auto Alliance (Thailand) will make appropriate payments to its employees in agreement with the local government’s labor unit. The joint venture employs a total of about 6,900 workers.

Mazda Motor’s sales in Thailand in 2019 declined 17.5 percent from a year ago to 58,129 units, resulting in a 5.8 percent market share and ranking the sixth in the auto industry, according to data compiled by Toyota Motor Thailand Co., the leading carmaker in the Southeast Asian country.

Mazda Motor announced on March 24 that it would suspend production at its two Japanese plants as well as at its Thai and Mexican bases.

In Thailand, other Japanese automakers – Toyota Motor Corp., Honda Motor Co., Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Nissan Motor Co., and Suzuki Motor Corp. – also suspend their production temporarily. Japanese truck maker Isuzu Motors Ltd. said last Wednesday it will halt production at its two Thai plants from April 13 to 30.