But Ford Motor Company announced yesterday that it was going to build various small models right here in LOS. That did puzzle me for several reasons.Originally Posted by wintermute
Firstly, labour must be cheaper in, say Laos or Vietnam.
Secondly, the political situation is so-so right now, fucking with the rules regarding foreign investment etc.
Ford have got big probs and have done for a number of years (I used to flog their shiny motors back in England).
Why chose Thailand to build cars?
I'm everywhere you've never been and better than I've ever been
Originally Posted by Nickyboy
You were a car-jacker?
This space for rent.
Yeah. I used to ram cars, and when the owner got out, I'd pop that muthafucka in the face, then steal his ride.
Yo, blood! You one bad-ass mo-fo...can I run wit yo' posse?
Ford must be getting special concessions that we don't know about. A lot of big companies like Ford will have countries bend over backwards to gain their investment. Even with the FBA and various "protectionist" attitudes with the regime I don't think they're completely stupid. They know that having a well publicized company pull out over a billion dollars in investment will look VERY bad. Also Thailand has special trade agreements with the U.S. which I believe will be renewed.Originally Posted by Nickyboy
Thailand is also less likely to burn a U.S. company considering the fact that the U.S. is one of its biggest export customers. If Thailand screwed over Ford I imagine some Ford lobbyist will be petitioning Congress for some trade sanctions the next day.
They are having big problems but I see what Ford's overall strategy is. They are trying to poise themselves in the SE Asian region for the truck/SUV market. That's pretty much the only thing that makes ford profit these days.Ford have got big probs and have done for a number of years (I used to flog their shiny motors back in England).
Probably because there is existing infrastructure here to support car manufacturing plants. Ford will be investing alot but they must see some potential to expand out from the region.Why chose Thailand to build cars?
Fuck me. A poster with a brain!
Originally Posted by Nickyboy
Watched Australia Network's Business report this morning, where there was discussion about Ford Motor Co. possibly investing the 1 billion US dollars in China or India instead. Honestly, if you had that much dosh to invest, would you invest it in Thailand, where the government wants to control YOUR money via Thai majority shareholding, capital controls and various restrictions?? Not to mention policy flip-flopping, low qualification of employees and low buying power of prospective customers?
I personally wouldn't invest my, or my shareholders money in such a questionable environment, and I guess that Thailand can possibly kiss this huge investment, the tax revenue, and the jobs goodbye. And it may not be the last such cancellation of business investments.
"Ford May Scrap Up to $1 Billion of New Thailand Investments
By Margo Towie
Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co., the world's third- largest carmaker, may scrap as much as $1 billion of planned investment in Thai factories after the nation's military-backed government imposed currency and foreign-investment curbs.
``These things make it extremely difficult to do business in a globally competitive environment,'' Steve Biegun, Ford's Washington-based vice president for international government affairs, said yesterday in an interview in Bangkok, where he met leaders including the Prime Minister. ``What we need in our business is predictability.''
Thailand's military seized control in September and installed a government that imposed currency controls and new foreign-ownership laws, shaking investor confidence. A group representing Pfizer Inc. and other drug companies last week said members may cut spending after the Thai government pledged to force them to surrender patents so it can make cheaper medicines.
``Thailand's potential for economic growth and investment liberalization has definitely taken a knocking,'' said Kim Eng Tan, an analyst at Standard & Poor's in Singapore. ``We are seeing an increase in policy risk that may deter investors.''
S&P last week kept the outlook on Thailand's BBB+ rating stable, which means it's inclined to leave the ranking unchanged. The rating is the third-lowest investment grade.
Top 20 Investors
Ford, among Thailand's top 20 foreign companies with about $1 billion already invested, is reviewing plans to build a new plant in the nation with capacity for 150,000 cars and extend existing output by an additional 24,000 vehicles at a 176,000- unit factory it operates with Mazda Motor Corp.
The coup and the measures taken by the government ``have generated a sense of turmoil,'' Biegun said. ``We came to discuss with government very specifically the policies surrounding the auto industry and what should be the expectations of a potential investor.''
Ford will decide where to invest the earmarked $1 billion in ``the first half of this year,'' Biegun said, citing China and India as alternative investment destinations. Ford wants to make sure that Thailand will remain ``a stable place to do business.''
``So far the government is moving in a direction that could keep things together, but they have a monumental task ahead of them,'' said Biegun. Dearborn, Michigan-based Ford, which ranks No. 5 in Thailand in sales, last week reported a record $12.75 billion full-year loss.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers' Association, which has representatives of Pfizer, GlaxoSmithKline Plc and Novartis AG on the board, said it will assess proposed laws after the Thai health ministry said it planned to force companies to relinquish patents for heart and HIV drugs to cut drug costs because of Thailand's ``limited budget.''
``Forcefully taking property rights simply because of a ministry's budget shortfalls is internationally unprecedented,'' Teera Chakajnarodom, president of the trade group said yesterday. ``We have no objections to generics -- but don't take patented products and allow other companies to copy them.''
``There is a misunderstanding that this government is protectionist and doesn't want foreign investment,'' Thailand's Finance Minister Pridiyathorn Devakula said today. ``I want to repeat again that all the measures are to help domestic businesses be able to compete.''
Thailand's central bank triggered a slump in stocks, bonds and the currency in December when it required local banks to withhold 30 percent of new foreign funds and penalized investments of less than a year. The controls aimed to slow gains in the baht after the currency's 16 percent increase last year undermined exports.
The rule was abandoned for equity funds a day later, after the stock market sank the most in 16 years. It remains in place for bonds and real-estate mutual funds. The bank yesterday wound the rules back further, exempting some hedged foreign loans and fund transfers.
``The measures that they've taken are going to result in foreign direct investment outflows, not inflows, in 2007,'' said Tim Condon, an economist at ING Bank NV in Singapore. ``The government seems to be trying to sort out the regulatory framework and the outcome is one that looks investor unfriendly.''
Total foreign investment in Thailand last year dropped 18 percent from 2005, according to Board of Investment data. Investment fell amid a political standoff that ended in the coup ousting the government of Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Ford's vehicle sales rose by more than 80 percent in both China and India last year. Ford has invested more than $1.5 billion in China since 2001 and more than $500 million in India since 2005. In Thailand sales fell 18 percent last year.
Consumer confidence in Southeast Asia's second-largest economy fell to a five-month low after Dec. 31 bomb blasts killed three. Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont, a retired army chief installed by coup leaders, blamed them on ``people who lost their political power'' following the military coup.
``One government can give you what you need to develop a successful business plan,'' said Biegun. ``Another coup, another government and you could lose it all.''
To contact the reporter on this story: Margo Towie in Bangkok at firstname.lastname@example.org"
Last Updated: January 30, 2007 23:27 EST
Last edited by AJ; 9th February 2007 at 10:47. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
"You may be a cunning linguist, but I am a master debater." - Austin Powers
Given all this, why the hell won't the Baht do the decent thing and plummet like a fat man falling off a cliff and make me a rich man?