Japanese car giant Toyota Motor Corporation has declared its intention to participate in the second phase of Thailand's eco-car scheme.
From left: Kyoichi Tanada, president of Toyota Motor Thailand, Takeshi Matsuda, chief engineer of Toyota Motor Corporation in Japan, and Wichien Emprasertsuk, an executive vice-president of TMT unveil the new Yaris eco-car model yesterday
Kyoichi Tanada, the president of Toyota Motor Thailand (TMT), yesterday said his subsidiary is keen to apply for an eco-car licence before next year's March 31 deadline.
But he said the parent company has not yet finalised the investment budget or development plans.
The Board of Investment (BoI) earlier this month said several more car makers are expected to join the second phase of the scheme with investments of 30-40 billion baht.
The first phase, launched in 2007, attracted investment of 28.8 billion baht.
Mitsubishi, Honda, Toyota, Nissan and Suzuki participated, with combined annual capacity of 585,000 vehicles.
Car manufacturers must submit applications for the second phase to the BoI by the end of next March.
Once approval has been granted mid-year, investment will start a year later at the earliest.
The first batch of manufacturers can apply to expand production or reinvest in the second phase with minimum capital of 5 billion baht excluding land costs.
New manufacturers must invest no less than 6.5 billion baht.
All must produce a minimum of 100,000 vehicles annually from the fourth year onward.
All new eco-cars must meet the Euro 5 environmental standard of releasing less than 100 grammes of carbon dioxide per kilometre compared with 120 grammes for existing models.
Fuel efficiency is required to be 4.3 litres per 100 km, up from five litres in the first phase.
Engine size must be no bigger than 1,300cc for petrol-engine models and 1,500cc for those running on diesel.
The programme offers a six-year tax break plus an additional incentive for manufacturers sourcing parts locally.
Mr Tanada said the Thai automotive industry needs a new impetus to ensure its Asean production hub position, saying small vehicles such as eco-cars are relatively suitable for this emerging market.
He brushed aside concerns that the new output from the new eco-car programme would lead the local industry into oversupply, saying the surplus could be exported.
TMT itself plans major exports of eco-cars to Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam once the Asean Economic Community is formed in late 2015, said Mr Tanada.
In a related development, the all-new Toyota Yaris eco-car debuted yesterday, powered by a 1.2-litre engine and priced from 469,000 to 599,000 baht.
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