NNA Asia top stories Tuesday, Nov. 21

21, Nov. 2018

TOKYO, NNA – The following are the top stories from NNA Asia for Wednesday, Nov. 21.

Thai 2018 auto output likely to top 2 million, 1st in 5 years

BANGKOK, NNA – Thailand’s automobile output in 2018 is likely to exceed the key level of two million units for the first time in five years, on strong domestic demand recovering from a sales slump caused by the fading effects of a past tax incentive for first-time buyers.

Vehicle production in the first 10 months of 2018 grew 9.8 percent on year to 1,801,319 units, driven by domestic shipments that were up 19.6 percent at 839,704 units, industry data showed Tuesday.

The domestic automobile market “has boomed this year thanks to more private sector investment, better farmers’ incomes, a higher consumer confidence index and higher crop prices,” said Surapong Paisitpattanapong, vice-president of the Federation of Thai Industries.

The U.S.-China trade dispute has not had any effect on the Thai auto market, Surapong said.

Nippon Fruehauf partners with Philippines’ Centro to make fridge-freezer truck bodies

MANILA, NNA – Japanese auto body maker Nippon Fruehauf Co. has teamed with a Philippines firm in a joint venture to locally produce fridge-freezer truck bodies, capitalizing on potential cold chain logistics demand in the country.

The company has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Philippines’ Centro Manufacturing Corp. to set up the local unit, which is scheduled to begin production in the second quarter of 2019, Hiroaki Koshiba, manager of the Overseas Business Department at Nippon Fruehauf, told NNA.

The Tokyo-based firm, owned by Nippon Light Metal Holdings Co. and Isuzu Motors Ltd., will invest 500 million pesos ($9.5 million) over five years, Koshiba said. He declined to comment further.

JETRO promotes Japanese food online sales through Singapore’s RedMart

SINGAPORE, NNA - The Japan External Trade Organization is promoting Japanese food exports by opening a shop on Singapore’s major online food and grocery store RedMart, the first “Japan Mall” on an overseas e-commerce site.

Tapping Southeast Asia’s growing online retail market, the Japanese shop is promoting fresh farm produce and processed food, including sweets and ramen noodles, through March, JETRO said Tuesday.

Japanese food and culture are popular in Singapore and Japan is a favorite destination for Singaporeans.