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Floods have closed 900 factories

At least 900 factories have been shut because of the flooding, many of them auto-parts manufacturers, and vehicle production will be down this year as a result, but the government’s stimulus measures boosted the confidence of small- and medium-enterprises in August.
Industry Minister Wannarat Channukul said on Wednesday more than 900 industrial plants have been inundated by the floods, affecting more than 200,000 workers.

Mr Wannarat said manufacturers in Bang Wa (Hi-Tech) and Bang Pa In industrial estates have now halted operations to minimise damage in the event that flood water inundates the industrial zones.

The minister said he will discuss ways to rehabilitate the flooded manufacturers at the cabinet meeting next Tuesday, Oct 18.

Federation of Thai Industries' automobile club vice chairman Suparat Sirisuwannangkul said the widespreading floods would certainly affect the automobile industry on a wide scale.

Several auto-part plants in Ayutthaya's industrial estates have been inundated and this would force the carmakers to temporary halt their production-lines, Mr Suparat said.

"If the flooding continues, the target of 1.9 million units car output would not be achieved and the target will have to be lowered to less than 1.8 million," he said.

Nissan Motor (Thailand) vice president Piangchai Kaewsuwan said she had already discussed ways to rehabilitate the flooded auto-parts manufacturers after the water has receded with industry minister.
This aerial picture shows cars submerged in floodswaters at a Honda car factory on Oct 11, 2011. (Photo AFP)
Honda Motor (Thailand) said that it is now assessing the damage caused by the flash floods. In order to restore confidence of customers, Honda announced that its submerged cars will not be offered for sales as many people fear.

The giant Japanese car maker admitted that it had closed production lines from yesterday until the end of this week.

Honda (Thailand) had early this month announced that it would increase production capacity of its plant to 1,000 units a day after Japanese auto-parts producers have recovered from the impact from the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March.

Mazda Sales (Thailand) said its car assembly plants in Rayong have temporary stop operations to check whether any of its auto-parts suppliers are affected by the floods.

Toyota (Thailand) has also halted its production lines of three plants in Rayong since Monday, Oct 12, due to its suppliers of auto-parts were affected by the floods in Ayutthaya.

Meanwhile, the Trade and Services Sentiment Index (TSSI) of small and medium enterprises was up from 48.9 in July to 52.0 in August, Industry's Ministry Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion Office director Yutthasak Supasorn said on Wednesday.

The confidence indices on wholesale, retail sale and services increased to 51.7, 51.5 and 52.8 respectively, he said.

The Trade and Services Sentiment Index (TSSI) of small and medium enterprises was up from 48.9 in July to 52.0 in August, Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion Office director Yutthasak Supasorn said on Wednesday.

The confidence indices on wholesale, retail sale and services increased to 51.7, 51.5 and 52.8 respectively, he said.

"Their confidence in their own businesses also rose from 49.0 to 51.1. Only confidence in the economy itself dropped, from 58.1 to 50.2, but the figure is above than 50, showing that the SMEs' confidence is still at good levels," said Mr Yutthasak.

He said the better figures in August were attributed to the government's new economic stimulus measures, particularly the halt in the collection of the oil levy, which had substantially reduced the price of petrol and diesel.

Other economic policies implemented by the government and the continuing expansion in exports had also helped boost the confidence of SMEs, he added.

http://www.bangkokpost.com/business/economics/260976/tssi-rises-over-900-plants-hit-by-floods

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