In opening a new factory for trucks and buses in Bangkok, Scania aims to grow quickly in Thailand and the Asian region as a whole. “With this industrial investment as a major first step, Scania´s future in Asia is beginning to take shape,” says Gustaf Sundell, Managing Director for Scania Group Thailand.
The new factory in the Bangkok Free Trade Zone is a cornerstone of these regional expansion plans.
In addition to truck and bus assembly, the factory also includes a manufacturing facility for truck cabs, and a regional headquarters for Scania’s operations in Asia and Oceania has been created in Bangkok. The new business, Scania Group Thailand, is fully cross-functional, consisting of employees from the company’s Production and Logistics, R&D, Purchasing and Sales and Marketing organizations.
“With this new factory in Bangkok gives completely new prerequisites for Scania's growth in the ASEAN region,” says Sundell.
“By having a full cab factory and several local suppliers, we can now build a Scania presence according to global specifications with Thai and thereby ASEAN origin, which gives us completely new prerequisites for our growth in the region,” says Sundell.
The industrial operation in Thailand is important to Scania’s overall strategy for Asia, as it means Scania now is part of the ASEAN Free Trade Area.
Domestic market with great potential, mature supplier base
The project leader for the new business is Ted Göransson. He says the decision to locate the Asian factory in the Bangkok area was not a difficult one.
“Thailand has a very large domestic market, with great potential. The supplier base is well established, as is the automotive industry, which makes it easier to find competent personnel with the right experience. Thailand also has very good connectivity with the other countries in the region,” he explains.
Scania has also developed a solid supplier base in Thailand.
Suwit Petchsri, working as Supervisor at the Chassis Assembly in Scania's new Bangkok factory, says he appreciate the safety focus.
“Suppliers in Thailand might not be so familiar to European truck makers like Scania, but due to a long business relationship with Japanese truck and car makers this is a mature supplier market, similar to what we see in Europe and in Brazil,” explains Karl-Johan Valegård, Purchasing Director at Scania Group Thailand.
No matter where Scania sources its materials, the requirements it has of its suppliers around the globe remain the same. The company’s Thai suppliers all fulfill Scania’s quality, delivery and sustainability standards, as well as meet the company’s commercial expectations.
“The suppliers are ready to support the start of our production process, with the launch of the new truck generation in Thailand.
“We have now established a solid supplier base in the ASEAN region, and I’m convinced that these suppliers are ready to support the start of our production process, with the launch of the new truck generation in Thailand and Scania’s future growth and success here in the ASEAN Free Trade Area,” says Valegård.