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Watch Now On YouTube: Taiwan New Technologies That Will Dominate Electronic Product Manufacturing

Watch Now on YouTube: Taiwan New Technologies That Will Dominate Electronic Product Manufacturing

According to a survey conduct by PwC’s Vietnam Digital Readiness report shows that 89% of local respondents believe automation will bring more opportunities thank job risk. While the Industry 4.0 transformation was brought up by Germany in 2015 and expected to take more than a decade to be commonly adopted, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly pushed the schedule much forward.

As temporarily lockdown and diversion to work method are being conducted at all places, factories in ASEAN are expressing a much interest to transform their factories to allow more flexibility on production in the midst of pandemic which is bringing more uncertainty to labor working schedule. “Over 84% would learn new skills now or completely retrain in order to improve on their future employability” shared by PwC.

Taiwan, a place gathered with compact electronics and metalworking machinery supply, is also experiencing more digitization at the level that was never seen before the pandemic, including from smart monitoring system on machine tools, predictive maintenance, automatic storage system. The 6 speakers will include the machine tools total solution expert-FFG, smart stamping solution provider-Chin Fong, conveying and smart machine component supplier-Toyo, robotics expert-HIWIN, Logistic and AS/RS planner-iAmech, and smart IIoT solution-Delta.

On 8/13 webinar, these 6 speakers will not only deliver their ideas on manufacturing automation, but they have prepared some great case studies focusing on how digitization has been transforming the Vietnam local electronics production.

Watch on YouTube Link:


Event Date: 8/13, Vietnam Time-14:00-15:00


Opening Kenneth Tan, Publisher APMEN magazine


Machine Tools Total Solution:
FFG Smart Manufacturing and Future Opportunities Miro Lin, General Manager
Intelligent Manufacturing & Data Services Division, FFG.


Smart Metal Press Technology:
How Chin Fong’s iForming Helps Stamping Factories Enhance Productivity Jiro Wang, Account Manager
Chin Fong Machine Industrial Co., Ltd.


Smart Factory Components & Conveying:
Take Your Production to the Next Level with Smarter Manufacturing Solutions Stanley Yeh, Vice General Manager
Toyo Automation Co., Ltd.


Robotics & Automation Components:
HIWIN-Your Best Partner for Smart Manufacturing Simon Liao, Manager
HIWIN Technology Corp.


IIoT Total Solution:
Smart Factory-IIOT Application for SME Ernest Pan, Project Manager
Delta Electronics (Vietnam) Co., Ltd.


Closing Remarks Kenneth Tan, Publisher, APMEN Magazine




VinBus Operates First Smart Electric Bus In Vietnam

VinBus Operates First Smart Electric Bus In Vietnam

VinBus Ecology Transport Services Limited Liability Company has opened and put into operation the first smart electric bus in Vietnam. The first electric bus lines will operate in Vinhomes Ocean Park (Gia Lam) and connect with the city’s public passenger transport system in the coming time.

VinBus is an electric bus model manufactured and assembled by VinFast at the Automobile Manufacture Complex in Hai Phong, combining many modern technologies with the smartest and safest features according to the strategy of current VinFasts smart electric bus series.

As smart electric buses, VinBus provides passengers with an outstanding comfort and safe experience. Buses are equipped with the automatic system that controls the drivers behaviour and warns unsafe dangers; automatic lowering mode of the bodywork suitable for the elderly, children, disabled persons, pregnant women; Electronic board announces the upcoming stop; Free WiFi, USB charging port, entertainment monitor and security camera system and itinerary control, turning back alarm, parking monitoring

VinBus owns a battery capacity of 281 kWh, capable of moving up to 220 – 260km. Buses are fully charged after only 2 hours at VinBuss 150kW fast charging station system with the worlds leading charging technology provided by StarCharge.

All buses of VinBus will be managed and operated intelligently through centralized monitoring, charging, safety inspection, maintenance, repair, and automatic cleaning at Depot stations scientifically arranged according to VinBus primary lines. The construction standard of the Depot stations is on a campus of more than 1 hectare, the roof equipped with solar panels, ensuring energy supply for Depot activities, contributing to reducing the pressure load of the power source for the national power system, environmental protection.


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Vinfast Embarks On Joint Venture With ProLogium For EV Battery Solution

Vinfast Embarks On Joint Venture With ProLogium For EV Battery Solution

Vinfast, Vietnam’s first national car brand bared its ambition to dominate Vietnam’s electrical vehicle market by embracing ProLogium’s epoch-making solid state automotive battery solution.

A subsidiary of Vingroup, Vietnam’s largest private company, Vinfast has signed a MOU with the leading solid-state battery manufacturer ProLogium to accelerate commercialisation of solid-state battery EV in Vietnam.

According to the MOU, the two parties will set up a joint venture to produce automotive solid-state battery(SSB) pack for Vinfast’s EVs. The JV will have priority to purchase PLG’s SSB product and will be licensed to use PLG’s patented SSB pack assembly technology, MAB (Multi-Axis Bipolar+), to produce CIM/CIP SSB pack (cell is module/ cell is pack) locally in Vietnam.  PLG will produce SSB inlays (semi-finished battery cell composed of cathode, solid state electrolyte and anode layer) for the JV at one of its Asian manufacturing centers (expected to reach 1-2 GWh capacity in 2022), which will support mass production schedule of Vinfast EVs in 2023-2024.

Debuted 4 years ago, Vinfast is now ranked number 5 in Vietnam’s automobile market share and has created a wide-spectrum product portfolio. Through its JV partnership with PLG, Vinfast will be enabled to build EVs that boast ultimate safety, substantially longer range, efficient charging time comparable to fuel vehicles, and superiority in both intelligence and performance.


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TRUMPF Discusses Vietnam Metalworking Market Amid COVID-19

TRUMPF Discusses Vietnam Metalworking Market Amid COVID-19

Patrick Kemnitz of TRUMPF Vietnam talks about the impact of the ongoing pandemic in Vietnam’s metalworking sector, lessons learned, and strategies to adopt amid the ongoing crisis. Article by Stephen Las Marias.

Patrick Kemnitz

TRUMPF is one of the leading providers of machine tools and laser technology for industrial applications. The company has a strong presence in Southeast Asia through its numerous local subsidiaries. Since 2006, TRUMPF has also been represented in Vietnam, with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The company has been expanding its local team and presence continuously, and has now grown to a team of more than 40 local employees.

TRUMPF Vietnam supports businesses with local sales, spare parts and service requirements, with the main purpose to be close to its customers. Its European-trained engineers are dedicated to install, inspect, maintain and repair machines locally as well as provide extensive trainings for customers operating the TRUMPF high-end technology in their manufacturing plants.

In an interview with Asia Pacific Metalworking Equipment News, Patrick Kemnitz, General Director, TRUMPF Vietnam Co. Ltd, talks about the impact of the ongoing pandemic in Vietnam’s metalworking sector, lessons learned, and strategies to adopt amid the ongoing crisis.


Patrick Kemnitz (PK): The metal fabrication industry was also impacted by the unforeseeable situation and consequences of the COVID-9 pandemic. 

However, the Vietnamese government has managed the spread of COVID-19 with immediate and very efficient measures. Due to this, the total number of cases since the beginning of 2020, compared to other countries, is on a low level. Now, it has been more than 44 days of no transmissions in the community. This has helped stabilize the economy in Vietnam!

With the latest figures, the Vietnamese GDP is expected to grow to around 2 percent in 2020, after reaching around 7 percent in previous years. The forecast for 2021 is around 6 percent and shows a fast recovery. That means the Vietnamese market is even in such hard times a growth market, during other economies are shrinking. 

Why this can happen? Companies have already amended their strategies. The COVID-19 pandemic made them question their existing supply chains and their sourcing strategy and this means not only companies in Vietnam. This is more a global topic and before COVID-19 the differences between U.S. and China regarding trade brought already dynamic into such consideration of factory movements or at least sourcing diversification.

As a result, especially in manufacturing sector in Vietnam and what we can see from TRUMPF side for the sheet metal market, more production is done and will be done in Vietnam. The demand for metal fabrication has increased in the past months.

In such situations also companies from U.S., China, Japan, India or Singapore are contacting TRUMPF in Vietnam to get contact to reliable manufacturers for sheet metal parts in Vietnam.


PK: Right now, it is a good time for manufacturers to realign their strategy. That means not only  preparing an outlook for the production requirements in next six to 12 months, but also being prepared for economic recovery.

The most important thing is to keep the skilled and trained workforce in their factories. The people with their knowledge are the most important factor for a fast ramp-up or for a sustainable change program. Flexible working models can help in current times.

The second thing is production capacity. If manufacturers in Vietnam want to make a next step with their factory and bring in new production jobs especially from foreign countries, then they are facing usually the so called “chicken and egg” problem. Do they need to have the machines first or can they wait to receive the order confirmation?

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Vietnam: A New Crossroad In Manufacturing Industry

Vietnam: A New Crossroad In Manufacturing Industry

Despite the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the first quarter of 2020, consumption index for the whole of Vietnam’s manufacturing registered an increase of 2.8 percent compared with the same period in 2019. On the other hand, the host of challenges due to the pandemic has caused the inventory index to grow by 24.9 percent year-on-year.

Nevertheless, the situation has sped up the decision of tech giants to shift production of their new phones, personal computers and other devices from China to Southeast Asia, including Vietnam.  In 2020, “Made in Vietnam” Pixel phones and Surface laptops are no longer tall tales, thanks to the decisive action of Google and Microsoft to minimise their overreliance on China for manufacturing. Vietnam remains a safe and attractive destination for outsider investors.

MTA Hanoi: The Leading International Event for Manufacturing in North Vietnam

As we foresee the blooming new era of development in ASEAN, especially in Vietnam—which has emerged as Asia’s next manufacturing hub—MTA Hanoi not only serves as a bridge linking the international manufacturing industry, but also plays as the platform that brings local and global manufacturers in touch with the latest updates in manufacturing industry, and offers direct access to innovative ideas and cross-border technologies including metal cutting, metal forming, sheet metal, metrology, test and measurement, cutting tools, tooling systems, and ancillary/supporting equipment.

MTA Hanoi is expected to be the biggest international manufacturing exhibition in North Vietnam, catering to every needs of the manufacturing community in country and beyond. Last year’s exhibition was attended by over 5,300 visitors who experienced cutting-edge technologies displayed by 158 exhibitors from seven different nations and regions. 

Spanning across 5,500 sqm of exhibition space, this year’s event will continue to feature a strong line-up of advanced products and cutting-edge technologies, in addition to many insightful concurrent events. Continuing 2019’s theme of Industry 4.0, MTA Hanoi 2020 is the perfect opportunity for visitors seeking to learn about digitisation and how to prepare and implement a business roadmap in this era of smarter manufacturing. Attendees will also be able to discuss future trends, technological challenges, and further steps to shape and strengthen Vietnam’s manufacturing industry.

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Ahead Of COVID-19: Automotive On Slow Recovery

Ahead Of COVID-19: Automotive On Slow Recovery

Countries around the world are bracing for a possible, looming “second wave” of infections. However, the damage to the automotive industry has already been done. 

As one of the hardest hit sectors, the world’s light vehicle market is forecasted to decline by 17 percent to 73 million units in 2020, due to its impact and its associated economic fallout, according to GlobalData. This is a bigger one-off shock than witnessed in the two years of the global financial crisis. In fact, the damage has been the most acute in the second quarter of this year, when strict lockdown measures were in place across the world.

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In Indonesia, car sales fell by 46 percent annually in the first half to just 260,933 units, according to Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo) data compiled by Astra, as reported by The Jakarta Post.

Sales for the first half of the year in Thailand were down by 37.3 percent to 328,604 units, according to MarkLines Data Center. In particular, vehicle sales in June declined by 32.6 percent year-on-year to 58,013 units, marking its 13th month of successive declines. Production during the first half of the year was down by 43.1 percent to 606,132 units, according to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI). 

Here, we continue to bring you the latest coverage in ASEAN’s automotive industry amid COVID-19: 


  • Energy Absolute (EA) will be unable to deliver 5,000 electric vehicles (EV) to clients this year, causing it to revise its revenue outlook from THB20 billion set before the outbreak to THB15 billion, according to a report from Bangkok Post.
  • By brand sales in June (data by MarkLines Data Center):
    • Isuzu was up by 26.1 percent to 16,661 units. For January to June, Isuzu reports sales of 76,054 units, down by 15 percent YoY. 
    • Toyota was down by 53.8 percent to 13,345 units
    • Honda was down by 52.1 percent to 5,822 units.
    • Mitsubishi sales were down 45.7 percent to 4,002 units
    • Nissan sales were down by 35.5 percent to 3,523 units.
    • The FTI announced that new vehicle production in June was 71,704 units, down by 58.5 percent YoY, but around 28 percent higher than the previous month as most car makers have restarted operations at their manufacturing plants. For 2020, FTI expects total vehicle production to reach 1.4 million units in 2020.
    • Sales of eco-cars in Thailand witnessed over 40 percent drop in the first half of 2020 to 69,816 units, MarkLines citing an article from Prachachat Turakij.
    • Starting August, Mazda Motor Corp. will return operations to normal or to pre-production adjustment levels. Overtime hours and work on holidays will resume for all plants. The car maker plans to continue normal operations from September onwards.
    • According to Bangkok Post, Germany-based MAN Truck and Bus Thailand remains optimistic about its future business in Thailand. Despite the ongoing pandemic, MAN maintains plans to expand its market in Thailand as it still sees the country—located geographically in the center of ASEAN—as a market with potential for its business expansion.
    • Suzuki Motor Thailand has sold 11,089 automobile units in the first half of 2020, down by 9 percent YoY.
    • The Thailand Energy Business Department said the enforcement of Euro 5 emissions standards will be postponed from 2024 after lockdown measures halted upgrade plans at six refineries. The upgrade requires technical help from overseas experts who are unable to visit Thailand because of travel restrictions imposed during the pandemic. According to Bangkok Post, the government is considering delaying a plan to make E20 the fundamental petrol at all stations because of the crisis.
    • China-based tire maker Linglong International Tire (LLIT) aims to boost its production capacity in Thailand in 2020, according to MarkLines, citing a Prachachat Turakij report.
    • Vroom Thailand, importer and distributor of Indian and European motorcycle brands, plans to expand its business by setting up a local factory to produce them in the country by 2023, according to Bangkok Post. The company plans to make Thailand its HQ in the ASEAN region.
    • During the first five months of 2020, only 600,000 motorcycles were sold in Thailand, down by 18 percent from 740,000 year-on-year, Bangkok Post cited Vroom chief executive Hideki Yanagisawa as saying. However, he expects better market sentiment in the second half this year, with full-year sales at 1.4 to 1.5 million units.
    • Thailand’s natural rubber industry is likely to remain depressed this year despite a sharp rise in demand for protective rubber gloves driven by the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Thai Rubber Association, the virus crisis has prompted many automotive factories, notably in the United States and Europe, to shut down or slow their production, resulting in lower rubber tyre demand, Bangkok Post reported.
    • Eastern Polymer Group (EPG), Thailand’s top plastic moulder by capacity, is considering a move into the lucrative healthcare plastics market after suffering sales drops in its automotive products and insulation materials in air conditioners because of the pandemic, according to Bangkok Post.


  • PT Astra International has reported a drop in revenue and net profit in the first half of the year, largely because of the pandemic’s major impacts on the automotive industry and commodity prices, according to The Jakarta Post. Countermeasures against the pandemic implemented in most regions in Indonesia, including the temporary closedown of manufacturing activities and automotive distribution, have impacted the group’s operations substantially.
    • Astra’s car sales fell by 45 percent during the first half of the year to 139,500 units. In the second quarter alone, sales fell 92 percent against the previous quarter. Honda Astra’s motorcycle sales, meanwhile, fell 40 percent to 1.5 million units in the first half and 80 percent quarter-on-quarter.
  • The Trade Ministry expects a boost in the export of some Indonesian products to Australia, including automotive products, electronics, and communication tools, as the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) is now in effect, according to The Jakarta Post.


  • Vietnam Motorcycle Manufacturers Association (VAMM) has reported sales of 518,920 motorcycles in the second quarter, down by 30.8 percent. For the first half of 2020, sales surpassed 1.24 million motorcycles. Among the members—Honda, Piaggio, Suzuki, SYM, and Yamaha—Honda Vietnam now accounts for 80 percent of the motorcycle market share in the Vietnam market, according to a MarkLines report citing
  • Vietnam’s motorcycle market has also entered a period of saturation, being unable to maintain the impressive sales growth rate as in previous years.
  • The Ministry of Industry and Trade (MoIT) will focus on removing difficulties in industrial sectors in the second half of this year, especially the processing and manufacturing industry, to expand production and business, according to Viet Nam News. It plans to work closely with foreign-invested firms such as Samsung and Toyota and search for local producers to make raw materials and components to replace imports. The ministry has suggested localities develop material production regions, industrial parks and economic zones to ensure they have raw materials for domestic production.


  • The Philippines Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (AVID) said sales of imported vehicles in June nearly tripled to 3,697 units from just 1,239 units in May, according to Philippine Star. Despite the huge improvement month-on-month, vehicle importers still registered a 55 percent YoY drop in sales during the first half of 2020 amid the temporary closure of dealerships during the lockdown imposed by the government due to the COVID-19 pandemic. AVID said it remains watchful of factors that may continue to dampen automotive sales in the coming months. These include lower remittances, weaker demand, and the prospect of a second wave of COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Following the sales tax exemption announced by the government on 5 June to boost car sales amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Perodua has wrapped up June 2020 with an estimated 21,250 cars sold—its highest monthly sales figure so far this year and nearly triple that of last month. Perodua managed to sell 8,601 cars in March before the Movement Control Order (MCO) came into effect on the 18th day, halting the carmaker’s nationwide operations for two months. Perodua officially restarted nationwide on 19 May, managing to sell 7,886 cars before month-end.

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Vinfast Opens R&D Center In Australia

Vinfast Opens R&D Center In Australia

Vinfast, Vietnam’s first domestic car manufacturer, has launched its Research and Development Center in Australia to boost international activity.

The establishment of VinFast Office in Melbourne—the industrial hub of Australia is a strategic move, taking advantage of the presence of giant automakers such as such as Toyota, Ford, Mitsubishi, GM, Melbourne, its complete supply chains and industry experts.

VinFast Australia aims to expand its presence in international markets, connect with leading suppliers and to catch up with the latest technologies and trends. The facility will be focused on research and development of new car models, including both ICE and BEV variants.

Earlier in 2020, VinFast Austrialia has started operations with its Automotive Technology Institute 2. It staffs nearly 100 industry experts and engineers from the world’s leading automakers.

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ASEAN Automotive On The Road To Recovery

ASEAN Automotive On The Road To Recovery

Despite continued softness in the market, the automotive manufacturing market is steadily moving towards recovery. According to Globaldata, although the global light vehicle sales fell 33.8 percent in May compared to a year ago, it showed an improvement from April when sales fell a record low of 47.5 percent. Analysts believe markets will begin the long climb back and we will begin to get more signals on market demand for the rest of the year.

In fact, China will lead the global auto market recovery. With automotive production and supplies resuming and China lifting restrictions on the movement of people and goods since early April, vehicle sales have started to stabilise.

Here, we take a look at the latest developments in the ASEAN automotive market and its road to recovery:


With phase 4 of relaxations, Federation Of Thai Industries (FTI) expects gradual recovery of the automotive market as businesses restart operations.

However, May vehicle production production was down 69.1 percent in May YOY, totalling 56,035 units. They noted that 2020 vehicle sales could be 700,000 units if the outbreak stays under control, or 500,000 units if local infections continue into September. 

Furthermore, 50 percent decline is expected for the auto parts market, but the Auto Parts Industry Club expects gradual recovery of auto parts industry as Thailand enters Phase 4 relaxation

  • AAPICO Hitech (AH) expects losses in its Q2/2020 amid the continuing decline in the local automotive industry from the beginning of the year due to the pandemic, Marklines cited a Thun Hoon report. Among AH’s businesses is the manufacture of OEM automotive parts. The company, according to the report, plans to boost its production capability this year to serve new auto parts products.
  • Mazda has reported sales of 1,602 vehicles in May 2020, down by 60 percent YoY, but up by 58 percent from the previous month. In a statement, Mazda is seeing positive signs that the automotive market is gradually recovering, given increased sales in every segment.
  • Mazda has announced that it will resume two-shift operations at all its plants in Japan in July. Its plants in Thailand and Mexico will be operating on limited days. Mazda expects global production volume in July to increase by 50 percent from June, according to a MarkLines report citing Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun
  • Auto parts maker T. Krungthai Industries Public Ltd (TKT) has over THB500 million ($16.15 million) worth of backlog order in hand, waiting to be delivered to customers, according to MarkLines, citing a Thun Hoon report. TKT expects sales to recover in the second half of 2020.


GAIKINDO, Indonesia’s automotive manufacturers association, reported Indonesia’s total vehicle sales in May 2020 were 3,551 units, down by 95.8 percent YoY due to the coronavirus. Meanwhile, the government is encouraging innovation through its Industry 4.0 program which includes the automotive industry and EV industry.

Although sales have experienced a downward trend since the beginning of the year, PT Suzuki Indomobil Sales (SIS) remains optimistic that it can increase its market share this year. From January to April 2020, Suzuki’s market share increased to 11.5 percent, compared to 9.3 percent in the same period last year. (GAIKINDO)


According to the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA), automobile sales declined 30.6 percent YOY to 19,081 units in May.

Vietnam ratified a free trade agreement with the European Union that will cut or eliminate 99 percent of tariffs on goods traded between the Southeast Asian country and the bloc, and provide Vietnam with a much-needed post pandemic boost, according to Bangkok Post. Vietnam will have a transition period of up to 10 years for some imports, such as cars. With this, insiders predicted the domestic automobile market will prosper in the last six months of the year and domestic automakers have the opportunity to develop as well as compete with imported cars. (VNS)

  • Toyota Vietnam has announced sales of 4,311 units in May 2020, up by 48 percent from April. (Auto Daily)
  • VinFast Production and Trading LLC announced in April that the inauguration and start of production of its automobile manufacturing plant will take place in June 2019 instead of September 2019 as previously planned.


Malaysian Automotive Association (MAA) reported new car sales decreased 62.2 percent YoY in May. They expect sales volume for June 2020 to be higher than May as businesses resume after restrictions for economic activities are lifted and sales tax exemption announced by the government.

Furthermore, The Malaysia Automotive, Robotics and IoT Institute (MARii) estimates a 28 percent drop in new car sales in 2020 due to the Movement Control Order (MCO) brought about by COVID-19, and that a minimum 500,000-unit total industry volume is needed in 2020 for automotive businesses’ continued survival.

  • The Malaysian government has agreed to reduce the sales tax for new vehicles for six months until December to revitalise the market, according to a report from New Straits Times.
  • For the 1Q 2020, UMW Holdings Berhad registered a lower revenue as disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic led to lower sales in the automotive and equipment businesses.
  • In May 2020, PROTON sold 5,676 vehicles, accounting for an estimated market share of 23.3 percent, but down by 46.5 percent compared to last year. Sales in May, however, was a 73 percent improvement over that of March. For January to May 2020, PROTON’s sales volume declined by 23.3 percent, while the overall industry dropped by 48.7 percent over the same period.
  • Perodua has sold 52,920 vehicles as of the first five months of 2020, giving it a 41 percent market share against an estimated year-to-date total industry volume of 129,401 units.


Operations of both assembly plants and dealerships have resumed with easing of restrictions. The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) and the Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA) reported a 84.6 percent decrease in May car sales YoY. According to Philippine Star, however, May’s production figure of 4,788 units was a vast improvement over the 133 units manufactured in the previous month. Furthermore, CAMPI expects total vehicle sales to drop 20 percent in 2020 due to the pandemic.

  • Auto parts makers have renewed their call to the government to support local parts manufacturing by implementing higher duties on vehicle imports and prevent small and medium parts makers from closing shop amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a Philippine Star report.
  • Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) program
    • Government introduced Incentives to encourage investments in vehicle manufacturing, while manufacturers have to manufacture at least 200,000 units of enrolled vehicle model within six years
    • According to the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), volume of vehicles required to be produced will remain unchanged even if automakers are unable to reach the target

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ASEAN Aerospace And MRO Industry In The Wake Of COVID-19

ASEAN Aerospace And MRO Industry In The Wake Of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has an unprecedented adverse impact on the aviation industry and, consequently, on the MRO business, without clear visibility on the timing of its recovery, according to Singapore-based SIA Engineering Co. Ltd. Border controls imposed by countries worldwide and the precipitous decline in travel demand has forced drastic cuts in flight capacities and grounding of aircraft.

In response to the worsening crisis, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is projecting a more realistic U-shaped recovery for the air travel industry, with domestic travel coming back faster than the international market. 

Many expect that because of the impact of the pandemic, activity in the commercial aerospace market will take several years to return to the levels seen just a few months ago. Some players in the aerospace manufacturing industry, including Boeing and Rolls-Royce, have even announced workforce reduction and production cuts.

However, Boeing is seeing some green shoots. Some customers are reporting that reservations are outpacing cancellations on their flights for the first time since the pandemic started, while some countries and U.S. states are starting cautiously to open their economies again.

  • Boeing, in fact, has resumed production of the 737 MAX at the company’s Renton, Washington factory.
  • On 14 April 2020, IATA released an updated analysis showing that the COVID-19 crisis will see global airline passenger revenues drop by US$314 billion in 2020, a 55 percent decline compared to 2019. Airlines in Asia Pacific will see the largest revenue drop of US$113 billion in 2020 compared to 2019 (-US$88 billion in 24 March estimate), and a 50 percent fall in passenger demand in 2020 compared to 2019 (-37 percent in 24 March estimate).

According to Oliver Wyman:

  • As of late April, over 65 percent of the pre-COVID fleet of 27,500 commercial aircraft have been parked
  • The current trajectory for fleet reductions and lower aircraft utilisation would reduce global MRO demand in 2020 by over $48 billion, or 53 percent

Here’s an update of what has been happening in ASEAN’s aerospace and MRO industry amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.


  • Indonesia’s national airline, Garuda Indonesia, has resumed domestic flights starting May 7, 2020.
  • PT Garuda Maintenance Facilities (GMF) AeroAsia expects to see increasing demand for MRO services from non-affiliated international airlines and has projected an 80 percent y-o-y increase for MRO services, from 71 percent in 2019


  • AirAsia is set to gradually resume services in the Philippines on June 5, 2020, following the Philippine government’s directive of easing community quarantine restrictions in Metro Manila and several parts of the country. The resumption of services will initially be for key domestic routes, and will gradually increase to include international destinations by July 1.
  • Air Carriers Association of the Philippines (ACAP), comprising: Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific and AirAsia Philippines, sees the industry shrinking in the next two years. The association has requested government assistance, including waiver of airport charges and credit guarantees
  • Infrastructure projects still ongoing: Lufthansa Technik and Metrojet Engineering


  • Airbus withdraws from MRO joint venture with Thai Airways
  • Thai Airways has filed for bankruptcy protection to rehabilitate business (to restructure under the supervision of the local bankruptcy court). Will not resume its international flight operations until 30 June.
  • The proposed MRO project at the U-Tapao Airport will proceed as planned despite Thai Airways International (THAI) entering bankruptcy. The THB11 billion project has already been approved by the Cabinet and a contract is expected to be signed in June. (The Nation Thailand)


85 percent of the Singapore industry is involved in maintaining and repairing aircraft. Singapore also plays a small but critical role in the global aerospace supply chain, with its SMEs having a key role in MRO and manufacturing—supporting special processes, tooling, testing, logistics, manpower, and other services. (Association of Aerospace Industries Singapore)

  • SIA has announced that it will resume flights to 27 destinations and increase no. flights for other services in June & July
  • Government has set aside S$750 million of support for the aviation sector and consolidation is expected to happen over the next 12 to 18 months.
  • Collins Aerospace, which just opened a 10,000 sq ft innovation hub in Singapore, is “monitoring the evolving market conditions very closely”. 
  • Rolls-Royce has scaled down its operations in its facility which tests Trent aero engines (Channel News Asia)
  • ST Engineering 
    • expects a slowdown in its aerospace unit due to deferred MRO services and lowered original equipment production rates 
    • however, the company has secured about $838 million across its spectrum of aviation manufacturing and MRO businesses
      • The MRO contracts included A320 heavy maintenance contracts and CFM56-7B engine maintenance contracts from Chinese airlines, and a component Maintenance-By-the-Hour (MBHTM) contract from a Southeast Asian airline to provide comprehensive component maintenance services for its entire fleet of Boeing 737 and Bombardier Q400. 
    • The Group is discussing with its customers to adjust delivery schedules or address order cancellations due to the evolving crisis. As at the end of 1Q, the Group’s order book remains robust.
  • BOC Aviation, a company involved in aircraft sales and leasing has extended its Engine MRO contract with Lufthansa Technik for another five years.
  • Through the enhanced Jobs Support Scheme (JSS), companies such as ST Engineering and SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) will receive millions in additional wage support to cushion the devastating blow that COVID-19 has dealt the aerospace industry. (The Business Times)


  • Suspended all international and most domestic flights in March and April in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus, domestic flights have resumed since April 22, after the government lifted a lockdown order, while international flights are expected to partially resume from June 1.
  • Will not consider applications for new airlines as it looks to prioritise the recovery of its aviation sector after the impact of the novel coronavirus, according to the Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV). (Bangkok Post)


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COVID-19 Updates: Auto Makers Revving Up Production To Drive Market Recovery

COVID-19 Updates: Auto Makers Revving Up Production To Drive Market Recovery

In the wake of the continuing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, global light vehicle sales in 2020 are now forecast to drop to 69.6 million units, 22 percent lower than in 2019, with risks to the forecast still skewed to the downside, according to IHS Markit.

In Southeast Asia, sales of new vehicles in the region’s six largest markets combined are estimated to have declined by over 19 percent to 700,528 units in the first quarter of 2020, according to GlobalData. Thailand saw first quarter sales down 24 percent as its economy reeled under the impact of much-reduced travel and tourism. Malaysia Q1 vehicle sales were down by 26 percent and Vietnam saw a slump of almost 32 percent.

Although 2020 is seeing a setback for the automotive sector in ASEAN markets, long-term prospects for the region remain very strong. GlobalData’s analysis points to strong indicators for long-term demand as motorisation rates rise with high economic growth—especially in Indonesia with its increasingly transportation hungry population of 273 million. Its market of around one million new vehicles a year is forecast to double to two million vehicles a year by the end of this decade.

In addition to strong long-term market prospects, the automotive manufacturing industry in the region benefits from relatively low costs, favourable government policies for investment, as well as free trading regimes for vehicles and components, according to GlobalData.

Here’s a roundup of the latest activities being done by automakers, parts manufacturers, and government units in ASEAN to drive the industry’s market recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic.


  • According to the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) automotive club, Thailand’s automotive production is likely to plunge 37 percent to 1.33 million units this year and could drop even further to 50 percent (to one million units) if the pandemic lasts till June.
    • Proposed measures to boost demand includes: a car trade-in scheme, 50 percent excise tax reduction until the end of the year and a delay in enforcement of Euro 5 emission standards
  • According to MarkLines Data Center, April vehicle sales in Thailand declined by 65 percent YoY to 30,109 units
  • Japan’s Isuzu Motors Ltd forecasts that demand for pickup trucks and other light commercial vehicles in Thailand is likely to fall 35 percent this year
  • Nissan Thailand has resumed production in its first Thai plant as well as plant 2 (on 1st June)
  • Mercedez-Benz Thailand plans to postpone the launch of the EQC BEV in Thailand to 2021 amid the coronavirus crisis, according to MarketLines, quoting a report from (Thansettakij)
  • Summit Auto Body Industry Co. Ltd (SAB) will continue with its project despite the pandemic, investing THB810 million—mostly for its plant expansion and purchase of new machines. SAB initially targeted THB8.8 billion for its 2020 revenue; but because of COVID-19, it revised down its forecast by 50 percent. (Prachachat Turakij)
  • TAPMA (Thai Auto Parts Manufacturers Association) expects exports of Thailand’s auto parts to drop in the second quarter of 2020 (2Q 2020) following the temporary suspension of car manufacturing plants both in Thailand and overseas amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, recovery is expected in Q3 as plants are reopening (Marklines).


  • Gaikindo, Indonesia’s automotive manufacturers association, have reported that Indonesia’s total vehicle sales in April 2020 were 7,871 units, down by 90.7 percent YoY due to the coronavirus, according to MarkLines. January-April sales were down by 28 percent to 244,762 units.
    • In terms of automaker sales in April, Toyota was down by 90.3percent YoY to 2,056 units (26.1 percent market share); Daihatsu was down 91.8 percent to 1,330 units (16.9 percent market share); Honda was down 89.8 percent to 1,183 units (15 percent market share); Suzuki was down 86.4 percent to 1,042 units (13.2 percent market share); and Mitsubishi was down by 89.7 percent to 808 units (10.3 percent market share).
  • The Indonesia Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs has announced incentives in the form of stimulus, amounting to IDR 70 trillion, for the automotive industry players to minimise the impact of COVID-19.
  • Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indonesia (TMMIN) is set to resume operations this month after it suspended manufacturing operations from May 1 to June 1, 2020.
  • PT Toyota Astra Motor also announced to restart production around the same time, according to VietnamPlus.
  • PT Astra International: Its automotive sales drop by 91.2 percent year-on-year (yoy) in April to 3,807 units, according to data from the Association of Indonesian Automotive Manufacturers (Gaikindo).
  • Suzuki Indonesia: Gradually resumed operating the plant starting on May 26, 2020. Before this, Suzuki Indonesia had temporarily suspended factory operations from April 13 to May 22, 2020.


  • According to a report from the Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (VAMA), the automotive market suffered a decline of 36 percent over the first four months and only 11,761 units were registered in April 2020
    • Sales of passenger cars decreased by 40 percent, commercial vehicles by 26 percent and specialised vehicles by 16 percent, compared to the previous month.
  • On May 20, the government approved a plan to reduce auto registration fees by 50 percent until the end of the year which could help domestic enterprises recover and stimulate car consumption for domestically-made cars over imports


  • Malaysian Automotive Association: Malaysia recorded just 141 sales of new automobiles in April, down 99.7 percent compared to the same period in 2019 (49,939 units)
    • Estimates point to a plunge to 400,000 this year. Sales for the first four months of the year declined 45 percent to 106,600 autos.


  • The Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines (CAMPI) expects vehicle sales to decline by at least 20 percent in 2020 amid the COVID-19 lockdown. Earlier, the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors Inc. (AVID) expects total vehicle sales to decline by 40 percent. Total automotive sales covering vehicles sold by both CAMPI and AVID reached more than 410,000 units last year.
    • Toyota Motor Corp. restarted production in the Philippines, Pakistan, and Russia, on May 22. Toyota’s vehicle plant in the Philippines, which produces models such as Vios, resumed operations on a single shift on May 18. The six overseas plants where Toyota has not resumed plant operations yet include Indonesia, Brazil, India, Venezuela, Portugal, and Czech Republic.


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