Thailand in the News Week Ending 6/26/10

Martha Stewart Coming to Thailand

martha Thailand in the News Week Ending 6/26/10

As part of a new campaign to boost female tourism to Thailand the Tourism Authority of Thailand has enlisted domestic diva Martha Stewart to help draw in the ladies. With a budget of 10 million baht ($312,000) the Tourism Authority has high hopes that Martha can help turn around the lagging female tourism numbers by getting the ladies interested in Thailand once more.

The plan is to have Martha Stewart film several of her highly rated cooking shows in the kingdom starting in September.  Stewart, who has long held the title of domestic diva,  was also named America’s most powerful woman in a 2001 survey by Ladies Home Journal. Thailand,  for it’s part, hopes that Martha’s demographic,  which is women aged 25-45, Will follow their diva faithfully and plan a trip to the Kingdom.

Thailand surely has a lot going for it with it’s great food, exotic culture and abundant beauty. Stewart is sure to make some impact on the ladies doing what she does best and with a great theme to start from it should be easy. Thailand is an easy sell as long as their isn’t an uprising going on and I’m sure the ladies that Martha influences into coming won’t find it hard to get their boyfriends and husbands to come along either.

Ford To Build New Factory in Thailand

Ford Focus 27 770 450x283 Thailand in the News Week Ending 6/26/10

Thailand may have it’s troubles but American Car Manufacturer Ford still believes in the Kingdom. Ford announced this week that they will be building a new $450 million plant in Rayong. The plant will build state of the art passenger vehicles for the Asian market starting with the next generation Ford Focus.  This new plant will be a flexible facility producing a range of vehicles and fully integrated to support body assembly, paint, trim and final assembly withthe majority of needed components coming from Thailand’s supplier network. This alone will bring a further $800 million to the table.

It’s estimated that the new plant will bring over 11,000 new jobs to the local community with 2,200 being directly employed by Ford. Ford currently produces Ford Fiestas and Mazda 2s for the Malaysian market at their Auto Alliance Thailand plant which is a joint venture with Mazda. This factory also supplies Fiestas to the ASEAN region, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

Ford is the only U.S. manufacturer that didn’t succumb to the recession and ask the government for bailout money and with moves like this it is easy to see why Ford will remain a big player in the U.S. market while the other manufacturers are falling apart.

Even with Thailand’s troubles still looming in the background it seems there are positive steps being made for Thailand’s future. Hopefully one day all the people of Thailand will see there is much more to be gained by becoming united and looking out for one another rich and poor. If Thailand’s people can truly come together then Thailand will become a force to be reckoned with .

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18 Responses to Thailand in the News Week Ending 6/26/10
  1. Mike
    June 28, 2010 | 7:56 am

    Talen, oh dear would you believe I had never heard of Martha Steward? However I am sure she will help the cause.

    Its an interesting bit about Ford, since their cars are not at all popular in Thailand(with Thais)….not sure why.

    Personally I quite like them but they make a poor investment here since their resale value is always low.

  2. Talen
    June 28, 2010 | 8:50 am

    We are bombarded with Martha Stewart in America…and that’s primarily the target audience TAT wants using her.

    Ford is huge in Malaysia although ford sells the majority of their pick up trucks in Thailand they say.

  3. Lloyd
    June 28, 2010 | 3:38 pm

    I don’t think anyone who has lived in Malaysia would ever think Ford is “huge” there, more the opposite.

    Thailand is presently offering rediculous insentives to “lure” potential corporate investors, including 8 years tax 0% company tax, 50% off social security obligations for the first 5 years etc etc. There is also the belief that the Thai baht will be one of the “weakest” currencies in Asia over the medium and longer term, current Futures for BHT/SDG, BHT/AUD and BHT/MYR are the lowest of all Asean currencies, which will strengthen export returns.

  4. Talen
    June 28, 2010 | 4:08 pm

    Lloyd, They may not have a lions share of the market but Ford sells a lot of rangers and fiesta’s in Maylasia as well as the joint venture Mazda 2′s that do make the list.

  5. QUO NYC
    June 28, 2010 | 5:48 pm

    It is a great news for Thailand. Car Manufacturer Ford can bring a lot of new jobs and it can show a positive impact on economy. I read an article which states Ford is making Asia the target and Thailand will be the central pillar of their strategy.

    The same site gives the information why Ford take an interests in Thailand, Thailand is the second largest pickup market right after Unites States.

    As you said in the first part of your post if Martha Stewart can effect in travel mind of American women , it can be very useful for Thai tourism.

  6. Catherine
    June 28, 2010 | 6:37 pm

    The last I heard of Martha Stewart, she was in the courts facing jail time (yeah, it’s been awhile). I had to google to find out if she actually did the time or bargained her way out of it (seems she did the time).

    I know nothing of Ford except for a plant closure in the UK (a big deal several years back).

    And now we know where they moved to… (kidding…)
    Catherine´s last blog ..Free Lessons at Survival PhrasesMy ComLuv Profile

  7. SiamRick
    June 30, 2010 | 1:23 pm

    Two really good news items, Talen. I think the Martha angle might just work (for me, she’s meaningless but I’m not in her demo). I’ve met a lot of women here at home who have already been to LOS and loved it. So Thailand has “top of mind” in marketing terms. There may be less adventureous women who break out of their shells on the word of Martha.

    Ford is on a winning streak, but without any government financial aid, as you say. Its models, especially the Fiesta, coming next month to NorthAm, and the forthcoming new Focus should be winners — especially because they’re coming with Euro dynamics intact. The expansion in LOS is a “good thing” (*TM). If Ford can get across the fact its pickup trucks have been No. 1 selling vehicles in NorthAm for years in SEA, it might have a chance of taking 2nd place Isuzu. Looks like Toyota will be almost impossible to unseat. I’d have to consider a Ford truck if it came to that in LOS. Frankly, Toyotas do nothing for me. And haven’t for several years, long before the recalls.
    SiamRick´s last blog ..Getting motorcycle fever againMy ComLuv Profile

    • Talen
      June 30, 2010 | 6:38 pm

      Rick, I’m not in Martha’s demo either…matter of fact I am running away from her and her demo :P

      Ford will do well because they actually know how to run a company…they very well could be the last standing American Manufacturer in a few years..

  8. SiamRick
    June 30, 2010 | 2:02 pm

    Argh … I read the Ford Thailand sales with an extra digit. Bottom line is, Ford has long way to go to overtake Isuzu, and will have to pass Nissan and Mitsu in that race.
    SiamRick´s last blog ..Getting motorcycle fever againMy ComLuv Profile

  9. Catherine
    June 30, 2010 | 2:08 pm

    Rick, I’m a Nissan gal myself as they build quality vehicles. And their 300zx just rocked.
    Catherine´s last blog ..Successful Thai Language Learners- Ian FeredayMy ComLuv Profile

  10. ChuckWow
    June 30, 2010 | 4:09 pm

    Hmmm… Ford pang mak mak !

    A few years back standing on the second floor of the Central Festival Center in Pattaya overlooking a display of Ford pick-ups I commented to my wife that for the same money we could buy a Ford and one of the giant screen TV’s on display behind us or we could buy a house and a Toyota Tiger pick-up.

    We did the latter.

    • Talen
      June 30, 2010 | 6:39 pm

      Chuck, I bet that TV would have been nice though…

      Unfortunately trucks are on the expensive side in Thailand.

  11. DangerMan
    June 30, 2010 | 4:59 pm

    LOL Martha Stewart, yeah I’m not massively convinced that she’s gonna pull in all the punters. Will be good for the cooking, but maybe not the draw that they are hoping for.
    DangerMan´s last blog ..Danger Man checks out Thailand…My ComLuv Profile

    • Talen
      June 30, 2010 | 6:41 pm

      Danger, I think it will definitely put Thailand back in the minds of women that have either written it off or forgotten about it.

  12. Martyn
    July 1, 2010 | 6:20 am

    Talen I’ve never heard of Martha Stewart (should I have) but Catherine’s comment will have me googling to see what put her away for a stretch…interesting.

    Thailand does attract a lot of young university gap year females but ladies in the 25-45 age range are not such a common sight. I guess motherhood has clipped their wings by then. I do wonder if this is another futile attempt by the TAT to improve tourism because I don’t think it’s going to work. Military takeovers, airport sieges and rioting tend to put most people off travelling to a country. Women in the targeted age bracket are also smart enough at that stage of their life to weigh up more attractive options. They scare a bit more easily than men as well. I still haven’t forgotten TAT’s Siam Sunray, that really pulled the punters in.
    Martyn´s last blog ..Big Balls and Baggy Shorts – Winning Isn’t EverythingMy ComLuv Profile

    • Talen
      July 1, 2010 | 7:18 am

      Martyn, Don’t underestimate Martha…she is a billion dollar industry in the states with an army of followers. When she says do something or buy something they usually do.

      That being said it won’t pull the kind of numbers that will stagger TAT but it will definitely increase interest and I think that’s what they are going for at the moment.