"Our new facility in Thailand represents a significant expansion of our manufacturing footprint in the important economy of Asia, where growing demand for vehicles is accelerating production volumes," co-founder, chairman and CEO Richard Dauch said in a statement issued from company headquarters in Detroit, Michigan.
"AAM is continuing to invest in products and markets where we can best serve our customers and have the opportunity to drive profitable growth."
The 8,361-metre plant will manufacture the company's highly engineered drivetrain products. Groundbreaking will occur in May or June, with preliminary production planned for next year.
The factory will be located in the Hemaraj Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate, which is locally recognised as the "Detroit of the East" for its heavy population of automotive original-equipment manufacturers and suppliers. This location is in close proximity to key seaports and will provide excellent geographical access to vehicle manufacturers throughout the region.
AAM's current Asian operations include a manufacturing facility in Changshu, China, and business and engineering offices in Tokyo, Shanghai and Seoul, as well as Pune, India.
AAM is a world leader in the manufacture, engineering, design and validation of drivetrain systems and related components and modules, chassis systems and metal-formed products for pickups, sport-utility vehicles (SUVs), passenger cars and crossover SUVs.
In addition to locations in the United States (Michigan, New York, Ohio and Indiana), AAM also has offices or facilities in Brazil, China, Germany, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Poland, South Korea and the United Kingdom.
Thailand's auto-parts producers also voiced optimism over the local business outlook in a Bangkok Bank survey of 300 manufacturers attending a recent seminar hosted by the bank. All expected continued expansion and capacity increases to accommodate growing demand.
More than 90 per cent of respondents said they expected higher revenue in line with economic expansion, while 78 per cent said they were planning new investments in the next year or two and were ready to welcome new technology.
The survey showed there were 1,600 auto-parts manufacturers in Thailand, each employing 100-500 workers. In the first half of last year, auto-parts exports rose 0.63 per cent year on year to US$3.26 billion (Bt106 billion).
With the export of 690,000 vehicles last year, Thailand now ranks as Asia's third-largest auto exporter after Japan and South Korea, as well as Asia's fifth-largest auto-making country after China, Japan, South Korea and India.