The robotic production line at the new, state of the art Ford Factory, in Rayong. The area has become known as the 'Detroit of the East'. Detroit-based General Motors Co. and Ford Motor Co., have modern factories here and Japanese carmakers have set up even bigger production bases. Last year Thailand leapfrogged Canada, France, Spain, Russia and the U.K to become the world's 9th biggest motor vehicle manufacturer, producing 2.5 million cars and trucks although only a small percentage of those vehicles are sold in Thailand. Almost one-fifth of all cars imported into Australia are manufactured in the 'Detroit of the East'. While from its Rayong base, Ford exports light trucks to markets as far afield as Pakistan and Ireland.