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Newly inaugurated Thailand plant may assemble the new Subaru XV

  • Apr 25, 2019
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MANILA: Subaru recently inaugurated its latest assembling plant in Bangkok, Thailand. Co-owned by Tan Chong International Limited (TCIL), the 100,000-square meter facility may go on to assemble the next-generation of XV, said Glenn Tan, the Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of TCIL. At the opening event, Mr. Tan cited that the facility has been built at a cost of THB 5 billion (around Php 8.1 billion) and is capable of assembling 100,000 units of four models in a year. While the facility today assembles the Subaru Forester SUV which is then shipped to Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia, the second model for the factory will be decided soon.


2020 Subaru XV Front Angular


For Malaysian and Thai markets, the Subaru XV comes via two routes, either as CBU units from Japan or from Tan Chong Motor Assemblies Sdn. Bhd (TCMA), Malaysia. However, the limited 500 to 600 annual units produced in Malaysia would never be enough for Motor Image, the official distributor of Subaru in the region. “We have not made any final decision yet as to moving the production of the Subaru XV over to TCSAT. However, the next-generation Subaru XV [previewed by the VIZIV Adrenaline Concept] will be out in three (2022) or four (2023) years’ time. Given we need about 24 months to move production to another location, we should have news for you even before the all-new Subaru XV comes out”, said Mr. Tan.


Subaru Forester Logo


Mr. Tan also mentioned that considering the size and the importance of the XV to the Motor Image Group, the immediate shifting of the production to the new TCSAT plant could be highly risky. So, for the time being, we will keep receiving our units as CBU units from Japan. However, Tan did say that there would be no reason for the Philippines to miss out on CKD XV as soon as the new assembling factory matures with time. Why the CKD model of Subaru XV is profoundly awaited is also because the SUV Forester has broken sales records in the markets like Vietnam and Thailand where it goes in the form of a CKD model.


TCSAT Production Line


Subaru is the only Japanese carmaker not to have any assembly facility in ASEAN. Now, they’ve begun to realize the importance of having an assembly presence in the region. The establishment of TCSAT allows Subaru and Motor Image to respond and meet consumer demand in the region, enabling us to localize our products and widen our product line-up”, added Glenn Tan.

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