An electric car is connected for charging at Motor Expo 2021, held in December at Impact Challenger 1-3, Muang Thong Thani. (Photo: Pattarapong Chatpattarasill)
The Federation of Thai Industries’ (FTI) auto parts club is working to help 2,500 auto parts manufacturers accustomed to producing parts for internal combustion engines (ICE) to shift towards electric vehicle (EV) technology by launching an EV component development plan.

EVs are expected to replace oil-powered cars, threatening to disrupt auto parts production in the future, said Pinai Sirinakorn, chairman of the club.

More than 30,000 auto parts are used in an ICE-powered car, but it is estimated around 15,000 of them would no longer be required if an electric version of the same vehicle were produced, according to SET-listed rubber auto parts manufacturer Inoue Rubber Thailand.

“The club wants to support and help its members adjust their businesses to continue operations,” said Mr Pinai.

Auto parts suppliers and producers in Thailand include large companies as well as small and medium-sized businesses. There are roughly 2,500 companies in the sector and 700-800 are members of the club.

The EV component development plan aims to help auto parts manufacturers shift their businesses to better suit the new market.

The companies will be encouraged to improve production efficiency in line with Industry 4.0, which promotes the use of digital technology and data analysis in manufacturing, said the FTI.

The club expects to propose the plan to the new chairman of the FTI on Feb 15 to speed up its implementation.

According to the FTI, auto parts companies in Thailand are original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), supplying products to domestic and global markets.

Some 40% of auto parts are exported while 60% are sold domestically.

“Up to 80% of OEMs’ auto parts are sold to global car makers and the remaining 20% are supplied to the aftermarket,” said Mr Pinai.

The growth of EVs is putting significant pressure on OEMs in the auto parts segment.

Some OEMs are expected to halt new investment projects for ICE cars while others already planned to end production, Surapong Paisitpatanapong, vice-chairman and spokesman for the auto club, said earlier.

The National EV Policy Committee announced in March last year a goal to have EVs constitute 50% of locally made vehicles by 2030, part of an ambitious plan to make the country a regional EV production hub.