Toyota may decide to reduce its $689 million investment in Thailand because of the current political unrest in the country.
As Engineering and Technology Magazine reports, Toyota is scheduled to increase its Thailand investment by 20 billion baht and increase production by 200,000 vehicles a year over the next three to four years. However, head of the car maker’s Thai unit Kyoichi Tanada said at a media conference yesterday that this plan is now uncertain because of political violence in the country.
Anti government protesters have been demonstrating in the capital Bangkok for the past two months. They have been hit by a number of explosions, including the most recent which injured 28 people.
"Our new investment in Thailand may not happen if the current political crisis goes on longer," Tanada said.
"For new foreign investors, the political situation may force them to look for opportunity elsewhere. For those that have already invested, like Toyota, we will not go away. But whether we will invest (further) or not, we are unsure."
Thailand is an export hub for Japanese automakers. However, according to Reuters, sales in Thailand are on track to fall by 13.6% to 1.15 million vehicles there in 2014.
According to Tanda, Toyota produced around 850,000 cars in Thailand in 2013. 445,000 of these were sold domestically and 430,000 were exported. In 2014, the company expects to sell 400,000 cars domestically and export 445,000.