Suzuki Motor Thailand announced Wednesday, March 21st, that it will start sales of the new compact hatchback eco-car Swift, which is being built at its new plant in the eastern part of the country.
The Rayong Province plant, with 21.7 billion yen in capital investment, began production of the Suzuki Swift at the beginning of March, with the initial target of 15,000 units this year. The Swift is also produced in India, Hungary and Japan and it is aimed at increasing the production of environmentally friendly compact passenger vehicles. The plant’s current production capacity is 50,000 annually, but it is expected to double in about five years.
The Swift, which conforms to the eco-car project being promoted by the Thai government, will be sold in Thailand, as well as exported to neighboring Southeast Asian countries. The company aims at achieving target sales of 20,000 units in 2012, with the made-in-Thailand, low-emission compact cars accounting for about half of the total.
In 2011 Suzuki sold 9,600 imported cars in Thailand, which offered the company a market share of merely 1%. Since 1967, Suzuki manufactured in Thailand only boat engines and motorcycles, until 2008 when the company built the factory in Rayong’s Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate.