Some of the most important cars on the world market have always been produced in the Orient. Over time, a number of manufacturers have chosen to invest in this part of the world, opening state-of-the-art plants such as Ford and Mazda's AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT), located in the Thai province of Rayong and inaugurated in 1995.

Today, AAT is one of the largest automotive plants in Asia, and its production focuses mainly on the two manufacturers' most popular vehicles in the East, such as the Ranger and BT-50 pick-ups, as well as the more compact Mazda2, Mazda3, CX-3 and CX-30 vehicles.

The collaboration between the two carmakers has enabled synergies to be exploited, transforming the plant into a truly sustainable, state-of-the-art facility. Let's take a look at why and how.

Strategic importance

The Asian market has become increasingly important for all global carmakers over the last 20 years. To understand the strategic importance of this part of the world, you only have to look closely at the new models unveiled by many manufacturers over the past year, some of which have been specifically designed to compete in this part of the world.

L'usine Ford et Mazda de Rayong, en Thaïlande

The Ford and Mazda plant in Rayong, Thailand

To cope with the ever-increasing demand for vehicles in Asian countries, many manufacturers have over time opened production sites in these countries, giving rise to what is known as 'offshoring', i.e. the tendency to relocate production to where demand is strongest.

In this respect, AAT's Rayong plant has become increasingly important for Ford and Mazda over time, particularly for the production of the two Ranger and BT-50 pick-ups, but not only.

The plant, considered one of the most advanced in the Orient, has also produced smaller, less off-road models over the years, such as the Mazda2 and Mazda3, as well as the highly successful Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus.

L'usine Ford et Mazda de Rayong, en Thaïlande

The Ford and Mazda plant in Rayong, Thailand

Sustainable pick-ups

Since it opened in 1995, the AAT plant, which now comprises several neighbouring but separate facilities, has continued to evolve as technologies and market needs have changed. Numerous grants have been awarded to modernise the facilities, such as the $900 million put on the table by Ford in 2019 to introduce advanced robotics and adapt to the strictest safety and quality standards.

But that's not all. In fact, the substantial investments made in the facilities over time have also attracted new outside companies to invest in the plant, reinforcing AAT's position as one of the most advanced and competitive automotive sites in the entire Orient.

L'usine Ford et Mazda de Rayong, en Thaïlande

The Ford and Mazda plant in Rayong, Thailand

This is what happened in 2023, when WHA Utilities and Power Public Company Limited (WHAUP) signed an agreement with the company to install floating photovoltaic panels on the water mirror located on the site (on the left in the photo above).

The project is expected to be fully operational by September 2024, with 60,000 square metres of solar panels expected to generate around 8 mW of energy capacity, in addition to the 5 mW already generated by the 45,000 square metres of photovoltaic panels installed on the roof of the main building.

AutoAlliance Thailand Rayong fact sheet

Inauguration 1995
Owner AutoAlliance Thailand (ATT) - Ford and Mazda
Collocazione Rayong, Thailand, Asia
Total surface area 750,000 square metres
Employees Approximately 5,000
Production capacity 275,000 vehicles per year
Other activities -
Models currently produced Ford Ranger, Ford Everest, Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda CX-3, Mazda CX-30
Main historical models produced Ford Ranger, Mazda BT-50, Ford Fiesta, Ford Focus
Upcoming models -

Gallery: The Ford Mazda factory in Rayong, Thailand