Thai auto-parts maker suspends work at one plant for two months amid industry slump

BANGKOK, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Thailand’s biggest auto parts manufacturer, Thai Summit Group, said it will suspend operations at one of its 26 factories for two months, due to a drop in orders from automakers.

Domestic car sales have slumped in Thailand, which is also a regional production and export base for some of the world’s top vehicle manufacturers. The sector accounts for about 10% of the Thai economy.

In a letter seen by Reuters, Thai Summit, which makes chassis frames, wiring and electrical components, told employees and the government it would suspend operations of one plant from Oct. 26 until Dec. 25.

The unlisted company declined to comment on how much of its overall annual production capacity that would affect.

In other signs of a slowdown in the sector, General Motors cut about 350 jobs in August, equivalent to more than 15% of its workforce in the country.

French auto supplier Valeo and Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp have also introduced early retirment programmes.

In September, Thai car sales fell 14.1% from a year earlier, down for a fourth consecutive month. (Reporting by Chayut Setboonsarng; Additional reporting by Panu Wongcha-um; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)