Yamaha Expands In Thailand

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Construction began last week in Thailand on a new corporate office building for Yamaha Motor Asian Center Co., Ltd. (YMAC), a subsidiary of Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd. focused on the development of motorcycles for ASEAN markets and parts and raw material procurement for the region's Yamaha Motor manufacturing bases.

The ASEAN region includes the countries of Brunei, Myanmar, Cambodia, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, Laos, Thailand, Malaysia and Vietnam. As of 2006, the ASEAN region had a population of about 560 million people, a combined gross domestic product of almost $1.10 trillion, and total trade worth about $1.40 trillion.

Yamaha says the facility will streamline YMAC's operations and further strengthen the competitiveness of motorcycle operations in the ASEAN region. The OEM intends to invest about $4.8 million in the new office building. The 43,000 sq.-ft. three-story ferroconcrete construction is scheduled to be completed by December, with operations beginning in January 2009.

Yamaha's motorcycle sales in Asia — excluding Japan — climbed 20.4 percent from 2006 to 2007. By comparison, the OEM's sales in Europe grew 12.1 percent while sales in North America fell 2.9 percent. Yamaha says it expects sales in the ASEAN region to grow an additional 32 percent this year from last. The company plans to expand sales 50 percent from 2007 to 2010, to 4.3 million units.