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Mercedes extends contract with local partner TAAP

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Carmaker not to build its own plant here, but TAAP facility will produce about 10,000 Mercedes-Benz cars, SUVs per year



GERMAN LUXURY carmaker Mercedes-Benz has overturned the possibility of building its own assembly plant in Thailand after extending its contract for 12 years with local partner Thonburi Automotive Assembly Plant (TAAP).
The deal will see the TAAP factory in Samut Prakarn churning out close to 10,000 Mercedes-Benz cars and sport utility vehicles per year, after having produce more than 100,000 vehicles since local production began in 1979.
“This year, we are on track to reach a new production record, with about 9,000 vehicles produced here at the Bangkok plant,” Andreas Lettner, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing (Thailand), said during a press event at TAAP grounds on December 20. “We highly prioritise efforts to strengthen our global competitiveness and we are continuously expanding our capacities according to the Thai market. Over the years, we have gained a strong and trustworthy partnership with TAAP. That’s why we decided to extend this successful cooperation into the future.”
Lettner said the global production network of Mercedes-Benz Cars includes facilities where vehicles are produced in various extension levels for markets such as Thailand, Brazil, India, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam.
“In Thailand, Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing has been in partnership with TAAP since 1979. Over the years, this partnership has involved strong cooperation and support through the continuous expansion of production lines to fully cover Mercedes-Benz’s
compact car, dream car, sedan and SUV categories,” he added.
Mercedes-Benz carries out local assembly for 16 models, with the latest being the S 500 e, C 350 e and GLE 500 e 4 Matic.
According to the Mercedes-Benz (Thailand) president and CEO, the 100,000-vehicle production milestone in Thailand is a success resulting from the “perfect teamwork” between Mercedes-Benz Thailand and Mercedes-Benz Manufacturing 
“This involves obtaining an insight into consumers’ needs and hand-picking the right models for local production in addition to detailed configurations to ensure that each vehicle fits perfectly with Thai roads and driving conditions. At the same time, the milestone is proof of highly efficient, top-quality production in Thailand,” he said.
TAAP currently operates one production plant for Mercedes-Benz passenger cars, which will be enlarged and combined with another facility in 2017.
Its production portfolio comprises the C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, GLE, GLA, CLA, GLC and the C-Class Coupé. In 2015 alone, TAAP produced 8,000 cars for Mercedes-Benz.

Published : December 22, 2016

By : Kingsley Wijayasinha