Komatsu $25m training centre opens doors
1,000 trainees forecast to take part by April
Japanese machinery maker Komatsu opened a regional training centre in Chachoengsao yesterday with an investment of US$25 million to support dealers in 20 Asian countries.
The Asia Training and Demonstration Center (ATDC), on the Bangkok-Chon Buri Motorway in Bang Pakong district, spans an area of 77,392 square metres.
Yeo Tong Hiang, ATDC's deputy general manager, said the Tokyo-based company has also transferred its know-how and advanced technology to help put the Thailand centre on par with those in Japan, the US, Russia and China.
The centre will provide 35 training courses annually, aiming to develop its distributors' human resources.
ATDC supports dealers in Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines, Taiwan, South Korea, India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan and Sri Lanka.
"By fiscal 2017, starting April this year, ATDC expects to have 1,000 trainees, 10% of whom will be Thai," said Mr Yeo.
The training centre kicked off the courses last November and now has 415 trainees.
Komatsu is a manufacturer and distributor of construction and mining equipment, utilities, forest machines and industrial machinery such as excavators, backhoe loaders, skid steer loaders, forwarders, harvesters and forklift trucks.
Komatsu sold 4,069 units of machinery during the first 11 months of its fiscal 2016, which ended March this year, in 20 Asian countries.
Indonesia was the largest market with 1,982 units sold, followed by Thailand, at 1,192 units.
He said Thailand is set to become a regional hub for Komatsu following the training centre roll-out.
Komatsu also operates manufacturing and parts distribution units in Thailand.
The company chose Thailand as its first overseas market in 1956, forming a joint venture with Siam Motors Group, owned by the Phornprapha family.
Siam Motors set up a subsidiary, Bangkok Motor Works, to run the joint venture, run Bangkok Komatsu Sales Co (BKS). Bangkok Motor Works controls a 60% stake in BKS, while Komatsu Asia & Pacific owns the rest.
Apart from BKS, the Japanese firm has also formed partnerships with the Phornprapha family in four businesses covering manufacturing, after-sales service, machinery leasing and forklift vehicle sales.
Bangkok Komatsu, the manufacturing arm of the venture, operates a plant on the Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate in Chon Buri. The plant can produce 9,000-10,000 excavators weighing under 30 tonnes annually, serving 17 countries in Asia-Pacific.