“As we explained when we announced this project in 2017, we intend to utilise it to make more of our products accessible to customers and targeted international market,” he says.
However, Harley-Davidson Australia spokesman Keith Waddell says the company has confirmed to them that “motorcycles for Australia will not be assembled in Thailand”.
That could change in years to come.
When Honda announced it would be importing most of its cars from a new factory just outside Bangkok about a decade ago, there was some skepticism among Australian motoring journalists that they would be accepted by Aussie motorists.
So Honda Australia organised a tour of their factory which I attended.
I was surprised to find a state-of-the-art facility built on a greenfield site with supervisors walking around wearing white gloves and a floor so clean you could eat your dinner off it.
One supervisor told me the quality was strictly controlled, but the humid environment actually cured plastics and rubber better for a longer life than in vehicles made in Japan.
However, another manufacturer told me the humidity destroys some rubber very quickly.
To Aussie drivers, there now seems no problem with Thai-made cars. In fact, our top-four-selling vehicles are all Thai made.
The vehicles are good quality and the Thai-Australian free trade agreement makes them good value.
Likewise, there should be little concern with Thai bikes.
However, some say the recall problems Triumph has suffered in recent years are a result of Thai production.
Rather than a lack of quality production facilities, it’s more likely the rush to get new models on to the market as is the case with most motorcycle manufacturers.