Section 9. Preparations for Mass Production and Mass Sales
Item 4. Toyota Expands into Asian Countries
Toyota Motor Thailand established
Toyota Motor Sales Co., Ltd. established a branch in Bangkok, Thailand on June 16, 1957. Toyota Motor Sales had changed distributors three times, but each time they were small-scale dealers that did not go far beyond sole proprietorships, and as a result, sales did not grow. To address the situation, a directly-managed branch was established with the aim of establishing a market in Thailand. Supported by ample funding provided with cooperation from the Mitsui Bank Bangkok Branch, the branch conducted active sales activities and increased sales in 1957 by eight-fold compared to the previous year. Performance continued to improve steadily in later years.
During this period, the Thai government repeatedly revised its Industrial Investment Promotion Law with the aim of supporting industrial development, and in 1962, the knockdown production industry was made subject to various benefits including substantially preferential taxation measures for five years and an increase in entry visas for engineers. In response, Toyota Motor Co., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Sales Co., Ltd. decided to enter the knockdown production business in Thailand. Toyota Motor Thailand Co., Ltd. was established in October 1962 with equal investment from these two companies.
The Toyota Motor Sales Co., Ltd. Bangkok branch merged with Toyota Motor Thailand in 1967, and production and sales were integrated. These measures resulted in an increase in exports to Thailand to 10,700 vehicles in 1969, and Toyota captured the top share of the market, with 22 percent.
Assembly Production of the Corolla outsourced to Thai Hino Industry Co., Ltd. began under a cooperative business pursuant to a tie-up with Hino Motors, Ltd. in August 1969. The Toyota General Center was established and import, sales, and after-sales service organizations were reinforced in December of that year, and the assembly plant was expanded in July 1970.
Local production, particularly of stamped parts, continued to increase through cooperation between Hino Motors and Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd. As a part of these efforts, Toyota Autobody Thailand Co., Ltd. was established as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota Motor Thailand Co,. Ltd. in February 1978 and began manufacturing stamped parts for the Hilux, Corona, and Corolla.
Later developments concerning production and sales in Thailand are discussed in Part 3.