Lockmaker U-Shin to Open Second in Thailand Plant Following Suzuki Motor

U-Shin Ltd., a Japanese lockmaker, will open its second plant in Thailand next year to capitalize on Suzuki Motor Corp.’s Southeast Asian expansion, company President Koji Tanabe said.

U-Shin plans to double its Thai sales to 4.8 billion yen ($52 million) by the end of 2011, Tanabe said in a recent interview. Suzuki Motor, U-Shin’s second biggest customer, will begin producing compact cars in Thailand in March 2012, according to the carmaker.

“Our plan is to begin production in 2011, but if possible, we want to bring it forward,” Tanabe said. “As well as from Suzuki, we have already begun getting orders for locks from other companies,” he said, naming tractor maker Kubota Corp. and housing company Tostem Corp.

The building will cost 2.2 billion yen and will be adjacent to U-Shin’s first plant in Thailand which began operation in 2000. Suzuki Motor said in November last year that its Thai factory will build 10,000 vehicles in the first year of operation, about half of which will be exported to other Southeast Asian markets. Recent political turmoil in Thailand, including deadly riots, was not likely to affect operations, Tanabe said.

U-Shin expects full-year net income of 2.2 billion yen for this fiscal year, compared with a 927 yen loss in fiscal 2009, the company said on April 14. Sales are expected to rise 18 percent to 60 billion yen, the company said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Fumishige Asano in Tokyo at fasano@bloomberg.net; Anna Kitanaka in Tokyo at akitanaka@bloomberg.net

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