SGF Lays Cornerstone for Another Success Story

The German drive component specialist is investing in Thailand

The SGF (German: Süddeutsche Gelenkscheibenfabrik – South German Articular Disc Factory), headquartered in the Upper Bavarian city of Waldkraiburg, is for German automobile an indisputable leader in its segment of the market. The company goes to great lengths to make sure that the motor power of cars made by the likes of BMW, VW, and Mercedes, takes to the road in a way that is both noiseless and vibration-free. It is for this reason that American, Japanese, and even Chinese companies are among the clientele of this highly innovative mid-sized enterprise.

Following the expansion of production at their main plant in Germany, the next big step going forward is for SGF is to become a strategic partner for the Asian automobile industry.

The construction of a production site in Thailand, hub of the Southeast Asian automobile industry, is already set to begin in April 2017 after a year of meticulous planning. The site will serve to provide SGF’s articular discs to clients in China, Japan and Korea as well as open up new industries requiring vibrationless drive products.

An important step along the way for a globally expanding international mid-sized enterprise: Company director Michael Weikert, accompanied by project leader Anja Wähling and on behalf of SGF’s management, signs the deed for SGF (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

Participants in the formal signing ceremony (from left to right): Mr. Vivat Jiratikarnsakul, Mr. David R. Nardone, Dr. Somyos Anantaprayoon, Mr. Michael Weikert, Ms. Anja Wähling and Dr. Gunter Denk

Sanet is proud to have played a part in guiding and supporting the decision-making processes of SGF since the early beginnings. A two-day strategy workshop consisting of defining the motivations, goals and processes for an investment in Asia was followed by a comprehensive feasibility study. The Sanet ASEAN ADVISORS also looked at over 80 criteria essential to potential investment gains and losses, resulting in a comparative evaluation of the Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese markets.

After deciding to go with Thailand, we set them up with a thorough location evaluation of the country’s industrial centers, which analyzed nine modern industrial parks as well as plots available for lease. They ended up choosing a 1.5 hectar plot within the Hemaraj Industrial Estate in Rayong, Thailand’s automobile hub, based on labor- and labor market expenditures, the location of the plots logistically in terms of proximity to suppliers and potential customers, transportation routes, power supply and multiple other criteria.

During this survey, the construction plans were designed in tandem with a Thai planning, with Sanet handling the application process for the official promotion of the SGF’s investment by the Thai Board of Investment (BOI).

“Well-prepared trumps quick to act!“ The processes and decisions to be dealt with on-site were discussed over numerous workshops, location inspections and coordination meetings, which serves to minimize risk. Here one sees SGF’s technical planning team of Wolfgang Standl and Michael Igerl, in a conversation with company director Robert Hapfelmeier.