Hirata targets Thai joint venture

Hirata targets Thai joint venture

Hirata Corporation, one of Japan's top five automation mechanism manufacturers, is working on a joint venture with a Thai company to invest in a factory here.

The company, which has annual sales of ¥100 billion (30 billion baht) plans to have a production base in Chon Buri to supply products for automation assembly production worldwide.

After discussions with Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak yesterday, Hirata Corporation president Yuichiro Hirata said that the company is in talks with Pasho Thailand Co to establish a joint venture in Thailand.

The investment value has not been disclosed.

Mr Hirata said the company chose Thailand because of its geographical strength.

"The Board of Investment's promotional privileges are not the reason the company is looking to invest in Thailand as other countries have offered attractive privileges too," he said.

The company also supplies a large amount of products to manufacturers whose production bases are in Thailand, said Mr Hirata.

"This is one of our main reasons for setting up our production base here. We want to stay close to our major clients as it saves on logistics costs. Also, being here, we don't need to find new customers," he said.

Since beginning operations in Thailand several years ago, the company has run through its own trading firm called Hirata Engineering Thailand Co, which offers services related to designing, manufacturing, assembling and providing after-sales maintenance of custom-made factory automation systems.

Mr Hirata said sales volume in Thailand averages 1 billion baht annually.

The company also operates production facilities in Malaysia and assembly lines in Taiwan, Indonesia and China.

Phatchara Ngo, managing director of Pasho Thailand, said the joint venture will be established as soon as possible.

Pasho has been operating in Thailand since 2006. The company manufactures machinery parts, tools and jig fixture designs with annual sales of 400-500 million baht a year.

Mr Somkid said that Hirata is not only making electric vehicles parts but also manufactures medical equipment, aircraft parts and electrical appliances.

Mr Somkid said the company also has plans to establish its regional headquarters in Thailand.

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