11 ABR 2018 - 00H00 | ATUALIZADA EM 12 ABR 2018 - 11H39
Toyota Motor announced plans to build a production base in Thailand for battery packs for hybrid vehicles, according to reports in Japan citing company sources.
A new facility is scheduled to start operations at the beginning of 2020 in the industrial Chachoengsao province, just east of Bangkok, as the Japanese carmaker looks to lift hybrid vehicle production in the country.
The Camry was the only hybrid model to be produced in Thailand by Toyota last year but was joined by the new CH-R compact cross-over vehicle in the first quarter of 2018. Toyota also sells the hybrid Alphard in the country but this is imported from Japan.
The Thai government has put in place favourable excise duties to encourage local sales of hybrid and electric vehicle sales. It also offers tax holidays and other incentives on investments in this sector.
The source said the battery packs would be assembled mostly from imported components and be delivered to Toyota's 'Gateway' passenger vehicle assembly facility near the town of Hua Samrong – also in Chachoengsao province.
Toyota Motor's main battery subsidiary Primeearth EV Energy Company, which currently has battery plants in Japan and China, is expected to make the investment and operate the new plant.
Toyota is also expected to export built-up hybrid vehicles to other markets in south east Asia as part of a broader target of selling some 4.5m hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles per year globally in 2030.