Japan automakers to spend $4.3 bln in Thailand over 5 years -Thai govt

BANGKOK, Dec 25 (Reuters) – Major Japanese car manufacturers will invest 150 billion baht ($4.34 billion) in Thailand over the next five years, a Thai government spokesperson said on Monday, supporting the Southeast Asian country’s transition to making electric vehicles.

Toyota Motor (7203.T) and Honda Motor (7267.T) will invest about 50 billion baht each, while Isuzu Motors (7202.T) will spend 30 billion baht and Mitsubishi Motors (7211.T) 20 billion baht, spokesperson Chai Wacharoke said, adding this would include the production of electric pickup trucks.

Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin completed a trip to Japan last week.

Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy is the largest car producer and exporter in the area. Japanese manufacturers have dominated the Thai car sector for decades, but Chinese EV makers have recently been making large investments.

The investment by the Japanese automakers will back the government’s policy of transitioning from combustion engine vehicles to EVs, Chai said.

Toyota, Honda, Isuzu and Mitsubishi did not reply immediately to requests for comment.

Thailand is aiming to convert about a third of its annual production of 2.5 million cars into EVs by 2030 and is planning incentives to encourage more investment and conversion into EV manufacturing.

Tax cuts and subsidies rolled out by Thailand have already drawn a raft of Chinese carmakers, including BYD (002594.SZ) and Great Wall Motor (601633.SS), which have committed to spending $1.44 billion in new production facilities in the country.

Srettha this month showed executives from U.S. EV maker Tesla industrial estates in Thailand for possible investment.

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