Chinese powerhouse Great Wall Motors (GWM) has commenced auto production in Thailand, with the Haval H6 Hybrid first model to roll off the new production line.
The Rayong plant, purchased from General Motors that pulled out from the Thai market, will produce right-hand-drive vehicles for Thailand as well as other Asean markets.
The Haval H6 Hybrid SUV is the first GWM model to be offered in the Kingdom, with official pricing to be announced at the end of this month. GWM also plans to offer its ORA electric car brand in the Thai market later this year.
The GWM factory is divided into four zones – press shop, body shop, paint shop and general assembly shop. According to GWM, significant investments have been made to turn the facility into a “smart factory” – it has over 50 robots, mostly for welding, along with multiple-model assembly capability.
More than 1,000 jobs will be created by the GWM plant, said Elliot Zhang, president of Great Wall Motors Thailand and Asean.
“By the end of this year, it will create 1,000 new jobs in Thailand, and not to mention future increase in our workforce that will help spur the Thai economy. Today’s event marks an important milestone in GWM’s globalization strategy, realizing our expansion into ASEAN, especially into markets for right-hand-drive (RHD) vehicles,” he said.
“As a smart factory with world-class manufacturing standards, it will bring a transformative change and set a new benchmark. We have introduced core technologies, including intelligent equipment, intelligent data systems, and big data technology to industrial applications and factory management process,” he added. “We also adopt latest technologies in smart manufacturing, smart logistics, and digital operation from GWM to equip this factory with truly intelligent production, process, and management.”