Sumino Kogyo Co, the Japanese supplier of Mazda Corporation, will enter a 600-million-baht joint venture with the SET-listed Aapico Hitech Plc (AH) to make precision-press welding parts in Thailand.
The joint venture will set up a factory in Chon Buri's Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate, with full operations early next year.
The Hiroshima-based Sumino owns 51% of the venture, called Sumino and Aapico (Thailand) Co, with the balance held by the Thai auto-parts maker.
"Thailand has become a key destination for all automotive manufacturers due to its strong economic environment and availability of skilled labour," the alliance said in a release yesterday.
"More and more different models of cars are manufactured in Thailand and exported globally. Most parts manufacturers strive to follow car manufacturers as they expand overseas, and Mazda is transplanting one major model of car into its manufacturing base in Thailand."
Sumino has a long-term relationship with Mazda for supplying precision metal-stamping parts to the Japanese car maker.
Aapico will deal with sales, marketing, distribution, logistics and local management expertise.
Sumino produces 3,000 different parts for such firms as Mazda, Sumitomo Wiring Systems and JTEKT Corporation.
Aapico is one of Thailand's leading automotive jig and die designers and a first-tier supplier of AutoAlliance (Thailand), Nissan, Toyota, Honda, Isuzu, General Motors and other big makes.
Shares of AH closed yesterday on the SET at 27.25 baht, up 1.25 baht, in trade worth 38.7 million baht.
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