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Captiva to Thailand
Global demand for GM SUV leads to production shift from Korea to Thailand
27 Sep 2007
By JOHN MELLOR
WORLDWIDE demand for General Motors’ one-year-old medium-sized SUV wagon, the Captiva, is growing at such a pace that Captivas being built for Holden are to be temporarily sourced from Thailand.
This will allow GM Daewoo to upgrade Captiva production facilities in South Korea.
The move will not affect the Captiva MaXX which is also made in South Korea.
Captivas made in Thailand are sold mostly in Thailand with plans for increasing exports throughout ASEAN markets.
Thai-made Captivas will start appearing in Holden showrooms in about two months and will continue into the New Year when they will once again be sourced from South Korea.
Holden last week announced revised specifications for the Captiva which reflect the Thai-made models. Revised paint colours, for example, are those of the Rodeo which is also built in Thailand.
GoAuto understands that the move is only about capacity problems and is not driven by the free-trade agreement with Thailand.
The Captiva does not qualify for duty-free status in Australia because it does not meet the Thai local content levels mandated by the FTA.
The need to upgrade Captiva production facilities in South Korea after just one year follows unexpected demand for the Captiva, which is proving to be a hit not only for Holden in Australia where the diesel version in particular has taken off, but in Europe where 79,000 were sold as Chevrolets in the past year.
GM sees big demand for the Captiva in Eastern Europe, Russia and the former states of the Soviet Union. They are also now exported to the Middle East and Latin America – a total of 70 countries.
In South Korea, where the SUV is marketed as the Winstorm, 30,000 units were sold in its first year. In Vietnam, where it is locally assembled, there is a waiting list out to 12 months. GM is expecting the Captiva to be in demand in Malaysia as well as Indonesia.
In Australia, the Captiva is selling at about 900-plus units a month to be the third most popular medium SUV behind Ford’s Territory and Toyota’s Prado.
The Captiva’s international success is particularly pleasing for Holden. Holden designer Max Wolff headed the design team at GM Daewoo which developed the car.
Holden engineers also worked on the Captiva over two years to develop ride and handling.
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