"We see there is lots of potential in this company and the acquiring of TASI will help strengthen the production efficiency and accommodate greater technology transfer among the group companies for better market support within Asean," Bunchob Ongthanasin, TBAS administrative general manager and executive adviser, said yesterday.
TBAS is a subsidiary of Toyota Boshoku Corporation Japan (TBJ), the carmaker's unit for research and development of automotive interior systems such as seats and door trims.
TBAS will buy the 15-per-cent stake in TASI held by NHK Spring (Japan) and the 35-per-cent stake held by NHK Spring (Thailand) for a total of Bt1.2 billion. The transfer of shares will be conducted on July 31.
The remaining 50-per-cent stake in TASI, which has registered capital of Bt250 million, is already owned by TBJ.
After the acquisition, TASI will be renamed Toyota Boshoku Gateway (Thailand), and TBAS will increase its registered capital from Bt30 million currently to Bt210 million.
After the buyout TASI will become the largest seat-producer for TBAS in Asia. It currently only produces seats for Toyota's passenger cars, but not for vehicles in the IMV (Innovative International Multipurpose Vehicle) project - the Innova, Vigo and Fortuner.
Bunchob added that TASI did not currently export any of its products, but the company would consider the option in the future.
Although complete seats will not be exported, parts and other smaller products will be.
"Another option we are considering is to attract other auto-makers to be our customers instead of only Toyota. Although we do admit that attracting European and American automobile brands to be our customers is no easy task.
"The eco-car project is also one that we are closely monitoring" he said.
TBAS contributed Bt13.411 billion to TBJ's revenues last year.