Issue: Jan 2010


Thailand to take the lead in turning ASEAN into an auto parts sourcing hub



by Alan Tran

 The Department of Export Promotion (DEP) will be setting up an ASEAN Pavilion at the biennial Thailand Auto Parts & Accessories (TAPA) 2010 exhibition. 

For the first time in TAPA’s history, DEP will be offering 5 complimentary booths (450 square meters each) to all ASEAN countries. ASEAN has the potential to be an auto parts and accessories sourcing hub as the region is currently the eighth largest automotive production base in the world.

With a highly developed level of infrastructure and proximity to Asia’s biggest markets, Thailand is a natural regional logistics hub. Geographically, Bangkok is closer to the heart of Asia than any other Asian city aside from Shanghai and Taipei, an incredibly important factor when considering transportation costs, time to delivery of goods, and access to supply and distribution networks.

Automotive production in Thailand - Vehicles produced

Year 2006 = 1,188,044

Year 2007 = 1,287,346

Year 2008 = 1,393,742

ASEAN Companies Keen to Participate at TAPA 2010

ASEAN has the potential to be an auto parts and accessories sourcing hub. As a group, ASEAN-member countries can provide a wide range of components and assemblies to OEMs. Toyota and Honda recognized the importance of ASEAN and have strong supply chain management in the region. Since Thailand is the largest production base in ASEAN, naturally it becomes the nerve center of the supply chain for most automotive companies.

ASEAN has a population of about 526 million and a combined GDP of US$1.27 trillion with an annual growth rate of more than 5%. The car parc is in the region of 26 million which indicates a car penetration rate of about 25 per 1,000. This shows ASEAN has the potential to be an auto parts and accessories sourcing hub as the region is currently the eighth largest automotive production base in the world.
In recent years, TAPA has earned an impressive reputation as the ideal platform for both local and international companies to showcase their auto parts, accessories products and services. To ensure the continuous success of TAPA 2010, the Department of Export Promotion (DEP), Ministry of Commerce, Royal Thai Government had embarked on a 9-city road show from September to November 2009 to promote the exhibition. The road shows were held in Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi, Jakarta, Manila, Singapore, Dhaka, New Delhi, Chongqing and Shanghai.

The 9-city road shows were attended by about 300 delegates. Officials from DEP, Thai Auto-Parts Manufacturers Association (TAPMA) and consulting firm Frost & Sullivan were present to brief the attendees on TAPA 2010. Industry players that were present at the road shows included Key Safety Systems, Bosch, Magna Intier China, Valeo Asia, Delphi, Shanghai AUtomotive Parts Circulation Trade Association & Shanghai Federation of Industry and Commerce Autoparts and Accessories Chamber of Commerce, Geely Auto,Federal-Mogul Corp, Cherry Auto, Tata Motors, Denso India, Hino Motors, Hero Honda, Mitsui, Takata, Perodua Vendors Club, Proton Vendors Club, APM Auto Electrics, Armstrong, Delloyd Ventures, Tracoma, PT Selamat Sempurna, ADR Group, PT Astra Nissan Diesel Indonesia and GIAMM (Indonesia Motor Vehicle and Motorcycle Equipment Industry Association)

The Vice President of the Thai Auto-Parts Manufacturers Association (TAPMA), Mrs. Achana Limpaitoon, said ASEAN had an even stronger role to play when it becomes a Free Trade Area (FTA) this year. "The lifting of trade barriers will help ASEAN to be market competitive against major players such as China," she said. She added that ASEAN's automotive players had the competitive edge to produce quality parts at attractive prices.

According to Mrs. Limpaitoon, Thailand is keen to work closely with other ASEAN countries to promote and develop the region as an auto parts and accessories sourcing hub. "Thailand has the strongest original equipment and manufacturing (OEM) and replacement equipment manufacturing (REM) capability in Asia, with more than 200 billion baht annually in export value," she highlighted.

ASEAN is the eighth largest automotive production base in the world. TAPA 2010 is an excellent platform to enhance cooperation in the automotive industry as well as to strengthen the market potential within ASEAN. TAPA is expected to bring together more than 500 exhibitors across ASEAN at the Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center in Bangna, Bangkok.

More than 16,000 visitors from ASEAN, Africa, India, Bangladesh, China, Japan, the Middle East, Europe, Latin America and the United States are expected to attend the event.

ASEAN Pavilion

DEP has also taken an initiative to turn TAPA into a regional event in 2010 by setting up an ASEAN Pavilion at TAPA 2010 exhibition which will be participated by various automotive and auto parts companies across ASEAN.
For the first time in TAPA’s history, DEP will also be offering 5 complimentary booths (450 square meters each) to all ASEAN countries.

Buyer’s Pavilion

Another new feature at TAPA 2010 will be the Buyers’ Pavilion which will serve as a valuable platform for automotive buyers to share their needs with the exhibitors, explore business opportunities and discuss strategic partnerships.

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