Economies of scale and open markets are critical for the automotive industry in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations region to become more globally competitive.
That’s the message Wail Farghaly, managing director-General Motors Thailand and Chevrolet Sales Thailand to the Thailand Automotive Institute’s CEO Forum in Bangkok.
The forum aims to set directions for the Thai automotive industry in the next 10 years by developing policy frameworks, national strategies, measures and a long-term action plan for industry growth.
Participants included CEOs from automakers, parts manufacturers and other stakeholders.
“For Thailand and other ASEAN manufacturers to gain greater access to export markets, individual countries will need to open up their own markets to more global competition,” Farghaly says. “Meanwhile, each country must be specialized on specific products.”
GM and Chevrolet Sales Thailand focus on their core product: pickup trucks and SUVs, which represent 60% of the country’s auto market.
“As the largest and most capable auto-manufacturing industry in ASEAN, Thailand can lead and will certainly gain from pioneering free-trade efforts,” Farghaly says.
These efforts include the ASEAN Economic Community’s continued progress in eliminating barriers to trade and adopting common and globally recognized standards across ASEAN.
Farghaly says the technology exists for new vehicles such as electric vehicles, but it needs to be supported by infrastructure and a preferential tax structure for all types of EVs to drive consumer demand.
Supporting more efficient powertrains into the future, he says, GM hopes governments in markets around the world can provide clear and transparent direction on future emissions and carbon-dioxide regulations.