Thai Auto-Testing Center Plans Shift Out of Neutral

Thailand’s automotive industry has campaigned for years for a regional testing center, in part to cut development costs. Vehicle assemblers now must have their products tested in India, Taiwan or Spain when a new series is launched.

Alan Harman, Correspondent

April 28, 2015

2 Min Read
Center will keep Thaibuilt cars in country for testing
Center will keep Thai-built cars in country for testing.

The Thai government is allocating 5 billion baht ($153.2 million) to get its long-touted automotive testing center to the starting line.

The Industry Ministry and the Thailand Automotive Industry Assn. will work together in the 4- to 5-year project to build the center in Chachoengsao province.

Association President Vichai Jirathiyut tells the Bangkok Post Industry Minister Chakramon Phasukvanich is seeking approval from the Natural Resources and Environment Ministry to use its land in Chachoengsao’s Sanam Chai Khet district, 80 miles (128 km) east of Bangkok.

Vichai says using the land owned by the Forest Industry Organization will help save the state budget some TB3 billion ($92 million).

“The (Natural Resources and Environment) minister has pledged to push the testing center project for approval by the cabinet very soon,” Vichai says. “The project should no longer be subject to any delay.”

Thailand’s automotive industry has been campaigning for a number of years for a regional testing center, not only to promote the country as an ASEAN production hub for innovative vehicles, but also to cut development costs.

Thai vehicle assemblers now have to ship their products to be tested in India, Taiwan or Spain when a new series is launched.

The center is a priority under the TAI’s third master plan for 2012-16 as vehicles tested there would not require further testing in other countries.

In 2012 the TAI sought financial support from the Strategic Committee for Reconstruction and Future Development to set up a facility at a cost of TB8 billion ($244.7 million). Under that proposal three locations were proposed, each covering at least 80 acres (32 ha), close to car assembly plants.

But in 2013 the committee told the TAI to study the feasibility of getting funding from automakers for the project. However, the Post reports Vichai insists the government should be responsible for the entire investment and divide it into two phases, costing TB3 billion ($91.75 million) and TB5 billion ($152.9 million).

About the Author(s)

Alan Harman

Correspondent, WardsAuto

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