Auto sector slams on brakes | Bangkok Post: business

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Auto sector slams on brakes

More than 30,000 subcontracted workers laid off this year

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Thailand's auto sector, Southeast Asia's biggest, has fired more than 30,000 subcontracted workers this year and slashed production, as sales plunge after months of political unrest that threatens to drive some manufacturers offshore. 

The lay-offs are the latest sign that the auto industry, accounting for about 11% of Thai economic output, is being hit hard by the prolonged power-struggle between the Bangkok-based royalist establishment and the mainly rural supporters of ousted former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

As a regional production and export base, Thailand's troubles have major implications for top manufacturers such as Toyota Motor Corp, Nissan Motor Co and Ford Motor Co, which may be forced to shift some production to cheaper bases such as Indonesia, the region's second-biggest auto market.

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