Global Interest Drives Thailand Heavy Truck Industry Toward Advancement

Heavy trucks
A shipping container is lifted from a truck to load onto a ship at a port in Bangkok, Thailand, March 25, 2016. (Photo: REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo)

Thailand is significantly growing its heavy truck industry with the entry of Swedish and Japanese manufacturers Scani and Hino. The commercial vehicle companies opened production centers in the Asian country.

According to Thailand Business News, Scania is the latest manufacturer to bet on Thailand's growing heavy vehicle market. The Swedish firm is the latest international company to establish an R&D center and a regional production facility in the country.

Scania said the opening of a new production center for heavy commercial vehicles in Bangkok is part of the company's long-term initiative of expanding its target markets in the Asian region. The plan is, to begin with, Thailand and expand to other areas in the near future.

"With this industrial investment as a major first step, Scania's future in Asia is beginning to take shape," Managing Director for Scania Group Thailand, Gustaf Sundell, said.

The Swedish factory has a facility in its Thailand base that is dedicated solely for assembling buses and trucks. The factory also features a center where truck cabs will be assembled. Finally, it has an office that will serve as Scania's Asian and Oceania operations headquarters.

Hino, on the other hand, recently announced that it will invest over $100 million to construct a production center for its regional medium and heavy truck manufacturing. The facility will cater to Thai markets and other regions across Asia-Pacific.

The Japanese truck maker is looking to commence construction of its Thailand production center in July. Operations are expected to kick off sometime 2021 once the facility is ready for assembling and delivery tasks.

Thailand has a smaller heavy truck market compared to Indonesia. However, investors believe that a bigger room for growth could benefit businesses in the near future. It is also expected that the expansion of other firms such as Isuzu will spur movement among truck companies exploring Asian markets.

Meanwhile, the Thai heavy vehicle industry continues to explore its options for engines that will help reduce pollution in the country. Daimler Commercial Vehicles Thailand (DCVT) recently unveiled the world's first emission-free truck that runs on six lithium-ion batteries.

The Nation reported that the emission-free truck has a driving capacity of up to 100 kilometers per charging session. While the Thai heavy truck's availability is only limited to the U.K., the U.S., and Japan at this time, it is expected to be available in other countries in the near future.

DCVT said in February that the eCanter zero emission tech-powered truck could be the solution that should get rid of at least alleviate Bangkok's pollution woes. During the "Future of Mobility" event, the Thai manufacturer discussed suitable energy challenges that the country's overall heavy vehicles industry is faced with.

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