Nissan eyes Thailand as key EV production base after Japan

BANGKOK, NNA - Nissan Motor Co. is seeking to establish an electric vehicle production base in Thailand, dubbed the Detroit of the East, taking advantage of the government’s tax incentives for promoting clean energy.

Thailand will be Nissan’s second EV manufacturing hub after Japan.

“We will accelerate Nissan Motor’s production of EVs in Thailand,” Yutaka Sanada, the company’s senior vice president for Asia-Oceania, was quoted as announcing at an event last week.

“We will unveil our plans soon,” he said without providing details, according to a spokesman for Nissan Motor (Thailand) Co.

Sanada was at Laem Chabang Port, central Thailand on Thursday, attending a ceremony. Nissan’s vehicle exports from Thailand reached 1 million units on the day, about 20 years after it first began shipping cars from the emerging market economy.

Last year, Nissan obtained permits from the Board of Investment of Thailand to produce hybrid vehicles and batteries for electric vehicles in Samut Prakarn Province, central Thailand.

The company is also in talks with the board on its application to assemble electric vehicles, according to Nissan’s local subsidiary.

Nissan has assembly plants in Samut Prakarn, capable of churning out a combined 370,000 units a year. The sedans, sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks produced there were mainly exported to the Philippines, Australia and Japan last year.