Thailand, situated in Southeast Asia is a newly industrialized country. It has seen a rapid economic growth since the last few decades. It has the second largest economy in Southeast Asia after Indonesia. Thailand is one of the world’s largest exporter of textile products, footwear, rice, fishery products, jewelry, automobiles, electronic appliances and computers. Thailand’s GDP is mainly dependent on exports. Tourism is also another industry which contributes to the GDP. Due to the increasing amount of demand from the foreign market, Thailand is considered as a relatively developed nation. Thus only about 10% of its population is below poverty line. The development of Thailand has also resulted in improving the quality of life of its people. Among ASEAN countries, Thailand ranks second in quality life of people.
Thailand’s automotive industry has been developing for many years now. This has been possible with the support of private and public sectors. Thailand has been one of the leading countries in Southeast Asia in automotive production. One of the key success factors is friendly investment policies. There has also been growth in this sector due to government support and excise benefits. Along with that, there has been enough developed workforce which caters to the growth of this sector.
Countries like Japan and South Korea have made major investments in the automotive sector. Several Chinese auto-makers also plan to invest in this sector. Thailand’s automotive sector exports vehicles such as pickup trucks, one-ton trucks, light and medium trucks, microvans, passenger cars etc. Over the past few years, Thailand has changed its strategy for this market. It is slowly turning to be more competitive rather than trade partners. They are also building a competitive edge by collaborating with various businesses.
There are numerous opportunities in the automotive car market. One of them is hi-tech car spare parts. There is a considerable demand for hi-tech vehicle parts in the world. Thailand is leveraging on this opportunity by prioritizing the manufacturing of such parts. The government has been providing incentives to manufacturers for producing eco-cars. These incentives include reducing production cost and helping them source parts that are not available in the local markets. There has also been help from the government in terms of providing financial benefits to such manufacturers.
There are numerous workforce challenges faced by the automotive sector. There may be shortage of labor due to the growth of this sector. Hence, the labor market needs to be developed quickly. There has to be a development of capabilities and quality of skilled workforces. Language and cultural issues are also a few barriers in this sector. The sector needs to develop basic qualifications and criteria to screen workers in the future. However, the advantages of the workforce are still higher compared to the challenges.