Celebrating 10 Years of Collaboration: Thailand Automotive Institute and RX
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Celebrating 10 Years of Collaboration: Thailand Automotive Institute and RX

Tradex Reshape Auto Industry with "Automotive Summit 2023"

Thailand Automotive Institute and RX DECK: Tradex join forces to commemorate their 10-year partnership by organising the transformative Automotive Summit 2023.

This summit, held as part of the Manufacturing Expo 2023, also coincides with the institute's 25th anniversary. Join us from June 21-22 at the Grand Hall 203, Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Centre.

In the face of COVID-19 and the environmental conservation movement, the automotive industry is undergoing a significant transformation. This year, the global automotive market has experienced remarkable growth compared to the previous year. Dr. Kriengsak Wongpromrat, President of Thailand Automotive Institute, commented on the global automotive industry, stating, "Data from January to April 2023 indicates a 9% increase in worldwide car sales, reaching 27.5 million units compared to the same period last year. This demonstrates the recovery of the global automotive market and the easing of component shortages for production. However, sales volumes are still lower than pre-COVID-19 levels. In the same period of 2020, global car sales reached 31.8 million units. For 2023, it is estimated that global car sales will reach 86.05 million units" (data from LMC Automotive)*.

Regarding the Thai automotive industry, Dr. Kriengsak revealed that a production volume of 1.95 million units is anticipated in 2023, with domestic sales expected to reach 0.90 million units and exports projected at 1.05 million units. From January to April 2023, a total of 625,423 units were produced, representing a 5% increase. However, the domestic car market experienced a 6% decrease, with a volume of 276,603 units, due to tightened loan approvals by financial institutions resulting from high household debt and rising interest rates. Notably, the number of registered electric vehicles surged by 1,206%, reaching 19,347 units compared to the same period the previous year. On the other hand, the export market witnessed an 18% increase with a volume of 353,632 units, attributed to factors such as a low base from the previous year and overcoming semiconductor and component shortages for production.

Dr. Kriengsak discussed the various factors influencing production, sales, and exports, highlighting the dependence on both external and internal elements. He stated, "When considering external factors, we expect growth in the export market of our main regions, namely ASEAN and East Asia, by 4% and 6% respectively (data from IHS Markit). This growth is attributed to the economic recovery from the impact of COVID-19. However, consumer spending in Australia is stabilising due to household debt, resulting in a slowdown. Nonetheless, both Australia and ASEAN, as part of our main market group, have government policies that encourage the adoption of electric vehicles through incentives and infrastructure development. Consequently, part of the market's growth will come from the electric vehicle segment, which is not currently a major export product for Thailand. This may cause certain sectors to miss out on export opportunities.

"In the first quarter of 2023, China's car exports reached 1.07 million units, marking a 58% increase compared to Japan's exports of 950,000 units. This significant growth is due to the rising popularity of electric vehicles and the enhanced competitiveness of Chinese electric car manufacturers. Foreign car manufacturers with production facilities in China are beginning to consider reducing investments as they struggle to compete with Chinese counterparts in terms of cost-effectiveness. As a result, Thailand may experience an increase in the importation of electric cars from both Chinese and foreign car manufacturers based in China.

"As for internal factors within Thailand, the extent to which the new government promotes the automotive industry remains crucial. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that policies will continue to prioritise carbon neutrality throughout the automotive sector. Thus, the government is expected to implement measures to foster the development of low-carbon vehicles.

"The 30@30 target and past initiatives promoting electric vehicle production have attracted several Chinese automobile manufacturers to establish production plants in Thailand, primarily for geopolitical reasons. Currently, four Chinese automobile manufacturers are investing in Thailand: SAIC (with a production capacity of 100,000 vehicles per year), GWM (with a production capacity of 80,000 vehicles per year), BYD (with a production capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year), and NETA (with a production

capacity of 20,000 vehicles per year). Additionally, GAC Aion and Chang An Automobile are in the process of establishment, with Chery Automobile planning an investment in 2024. This presents a significant opportunity for the growth of the electric vehicle industry within the country. However, there are challenges associated with evolving international trade and investment conditions. Measures restricting international trade, such as requirements for domestically produced components, have diminished, while Chinese component manufacturers boast superior technological capabilities and lower production costs. Consequently, this situation impacts the competitiveness of domestic automotive component manufacturers in Thailand."

Dr. Kriengsak emphasised, "Therefore, it is crucial to expedite the preparation of domestic entrepreneurs. The Automotive Summit is part of our plan to disseminate academic knowledge in the field of advanced automotive technology. Our goal is to ensure that entrepreneurs, government agencies, and interested individuals are well-informed about emerging technological trends in the automotive industry and are prepared in various aspects."

This year's Automotive Summit is organised under the theme "Reshape the Future of the Thai Automotive Industry." The conference is divided into two main parts: Transition, which focuses on changes and developments in various aspects of the automotive industry, and Transformation, which explores how the Thai automotive industry will respond to these changes.

The Transition sessions will cover topics such as sustainability, the use of hydrogen as an alternative energy source in vehicles, and the significance of software in automotive technology. The Transformation sessions will address the preparation of automotive component manufacturers, workforce development, technological advancements and innovations, and relevant government policies that will facilitate the transition of the Thai automotive industry into the new era. We are honored to have over 40 knowledgeable speakers from both public and private sectors, who are experts in the automotive industry, sharing their perspectives on driving the industry towards this new era.

Dr. Kriengsak concluded by expressing his appreciation for the collaboration between the Automotive Institute and RX Tradex in organising this conference within the Manufacturing Expo. He thanked the

Ministry of Industry and industry stakeholders for their support. The Automotive Institute would also like to extend gratitude to sponsors such as Adient & Summit Corporation Co., Ltd., and other organisations for their sponsorship of this conference.

Regarding the organiser of the Manufacturing Expo, Mrs. Varaporn Dhamcharee, Managing Director of RX Tradex (formerly Reed Tradex), the leading exhibition organiser in ASEAN, revealed, "Every year in June, RX Tradex organises the Manufacturing Expo, providing a central platform for entrepreneurs from various industries to explore new technologies, knowledge, and business networks in the manufacturing and comprehensive industrial support sectors in ASEAN. The show features 8 specialised events focusing on machinery and technology for various industry sectors. This year marks the 13th edition of the Manufacturing Expo, taking place from June 21 to 24 at Halls 98-104 of BITEC."

The Manufacturing Expo offers comprehensive coverage through its integration of specialised exhibitions showcasing new innovations for various industries. These include manufacturing of plastics, molds, and dies; automotive parts; surface preparation, coatings, and paintings; robotics and automation systems for manufacturing and service sectors; electronics production and assembly; factory and facility construction, management, and maintenance; as well as garment and textile machinery for various industrial sectors.

One of the highlights of the Manufacturing Expo is the Automotive Manufacturing exhibition, dedicated to showcasing machinery and technologies for automotive parts manufacturing. Celebrating its 18th edition this year, the exhibition serves as a comprehensive hub for all automotive parts manufacturing technologies, covering sheet metalworking, welding, and measurement. It brings together parts manufacturers, enabling every automotive industry player to stay updated and adapt to changing trends. The exhibition features over 250 brands from multiple countries.

This year's Automotive Manufacturing exhibition follows the theme "The Path to the Express Way of Future Automobiles," reflecting RX Tradex's commitment to creating an event that guides automotive component manufacturers towards staying on track with industry trends. Whether related to electric vehicles or carbon neutrality, the exhibition provides attendees with the latest technologies and knowledge necessary for successful adaptation in the evolving business landscape.

"The invaluable knowledge that business owners gain from the Automotive Manufacturing exhibition is derived from the Automotive Summit, a collaboration between RX Tradex and the Thailand Automotive Institute since 2013. This year marks our 10th year of collaboration. We have consistently been impressed with the engaging content and roster of experienced speakers who generously share their expertise. Each year's topic and content have remained highly relevant to business owners, and the participating speakers are all experts in their respective fields. The Automotive Summit presents a rare opportunity to meet and learn from over 40 experts in a single event."

Attendees of the Automotive Summit conference are encouraged to visit the Automotive Manufacturing event, showcasing machinery and technology for automotive parts manufacturing, at no additional cost. By registering for a single entry pass, they gain access to all 8 exhibitions within the Manufacturing Expo. This highly worthwhile visit requires appropriate attire, and we kindly request attendees to refrain from wearing flip-flops or shorts, as this is a trade event.

The Automotive Manufacturing event will feature a diverse range of technology exhibits aimed at helping automotive parts manufacturers enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and contribute to environmental conservation. Visitors can explore sheet metalworking technologies for vehicle chassis and body panels, including 3D laser cutting machines and metal cutting technologies. Additionally, advanced measurement technologies will be showcased, facilitating quality inspection of manufactured components. For example, solutions enabling faster detection of contaminants through light and electron microscopy will be presented, allowing identification of the contamination source. Furthermore, the world's fastest part measuring scanner will be unveiled. Automotive parts manufacturers will also offer their services at the event, creating an all-under-one-roof exhibition for the automotive parts industry.

For those interested in attending the Automotive Summit seminar, detailed conference program and seat reservation can be found at www.manufacturing-expo.com. Simply select the "Conference" menu

for more information. For further inquiries, please contact the RX Tradex Contact Centre at +66 2686 7222 or email contactcenter@rxtradex.com.

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