Tan Chong International Limited (TCIL) has officially unveiled its first Subaru assembly plant in Bangkok’s Ladkrabang Industrial Estate. This is the first plant outside Japan that will be able to fully produce Subaru cars in Asia. The plant is estimated to deliver more than 6,000 Subaru Foresters in its first operating year to meet the growing demand for Subaru vehicles in Southeast Asia.
Tan Chong Subaru Automotive (Thailand) Limited (TCSAT) is a joint venture between Hong Kong- listed TCIL and Japan’s Subaru Corporation. Thailand is considered an automotive hub due to the presence of many Japanese automakers and established component suppliers. This, combined with a strong localisation ability, allowed toe plant to be setup quickly at a reasonable cost. Additionally, trade agreements in ASEAN, further allow the cars to be competitively built and exported to meet growing demand.
“This is truly a milestone for us, to be able to build Subaru cars ourselves in Thailand. From distribution, dealerships and aftersales, we are now also manufacturing Subaru cars. This strategic long- term move will allow us to better manage our supply chain, widen our product line up, localise better and be less dependent on supply from Japan. We will be better able to respond and meet consumer demand for Subaru vehicles in the region, and perhaps even beyond the region in future”, said Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of TCIL, Mr Glenn Tan.
TCSAT employs a team of Japanese staff to ensure that production standards and processes are held to the same strict standards as in Japan. Quality control and correction processes take place during and throughout the assembly process. This is complemented by regular production audits by Subaru Corporation. Some of the unique features of the plant include a test track, which further assesses production quality and safety of the vehicles before leaving the factory.
A committee oversees the overall safety standards of the plant and proactively identifies and isolates potential risks. All management staff are trained by external consultants on local regulations and global practices to ensure safe working conditions for staff and the surrounding area.