About 70 per cent of the Mercedes-Benz vehicles sold in Thailand by the country’s 30 dealerships are manufactured at the Thai owned, managed, and staffed Samut Prakan factory of Thonburi Automotive Assembly (TAAP), 23 kilometres (about 14.5 miles) from central Bangkok.
The Thai family owned company last year churned out 6,000 Mercedes-Benz vehicles comprising C-Class, E-Class, S-Class, M-Class, and A-Class models.
With about 700 employees TAAP produces about 8.57 vehicles per employee, well above the industry average for last year when a record 2.4 million vehicles were made in Thailand of just 3.69 vehicles per Thailand automobile industry worker.
With the company paid for each vehicle that Mercedes-Benz accepts as meeting its rigorous standards, staff are required to be on top of their game every day.
A lack of skilled workers coming out of Thailand’s colleges and institutes, in addition to a disproportionate salary system for diploma graduates versus degree graduates, is putting pressure on employers who find they have to do what the educators are being paid to do, but are not.
Read more here about how Thailand’s education system is hampering the auto manufacturing industry’s growth.
Or take a look at what happens inside the factory in the slide gallery below.
Inside the factory building Thailand’s Mercedes-Benz’s slide gallery
Photos John Le Fevre
He has spent extensive periods of time working in Africa and throughout Southeast Asia, with stints in the Middle East, the USA, and England.
He has covered major world events including Operation Desert Shield/ Storm, the 1991 pillage in Zaire, the 1994 Rwanda genocide, the 1999 East Timor independence unrest, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and the 2009, 2010, and 2014 Bangkok political protests.
In 1995 he was a Walkley Award finalist, the highest awards in Australian journalism, for his coverage of the 1995 Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) Ebola outbreak.
Most recently he was the Thailand editor/ managing editor of AEC News Today . Prior to that he was the deputy editor and Thailand and Greater Mekong Sub-region editor for The Establishment Post, predecessor of Asean Today.
In the mid-80s and early 90s he owned JLF Promotions, the largest above and below the line marketing and PR firm servicing the high-technology industry in Australia. It was sold in 1995.
Opinions and views expressed on this site are those of the author’s only. Read more at About me
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