Toyota Motor Thailand remains committed to using Thailand as a production base both for domestic and export markets, vowing to invest about 10 billion baht annually.
Yesterday, Ninnart Chaithirapinyo, board chairman at Toyota Motor Thailand, confirmed the investment while meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Somkid Jatusripitak.
Mr Ninnart also informed Mr Somkid the company has submitted an investment plan worth about 10 billion baht for the government's electric vehicle (EV) scheme to localise manufacturing of new eco-friendlier vehicles here.
Last month Toyota filed two applications with the Board of Investment (BoI) to produce plug-in hybrid and battery EVs.
Toyota plans to assemble 7,000 hybrid EVs a year, making 70,000 batteries for EVs and producing other parts such as doors, bumpers and front/rear axles, totalling 9.1 million units in addition to making batteries for hybrid cars.
In 2017, Toyota applied to the BoI for hybrid EV production and won privileges for a project with total investment of 19 billion baht at the Gateway plant in Chachoengsao.
Mr Ninnart said Toyota is scheduled to manufacture plug-in hybrids over the next 3-4 years and EVs in 2023.
He said the company also plans to invest in recycling the cells of hybrid car batteries.
Recycled batteries can be used for solar rooftops. The project is expected to begin next year, said Mr Ninnart.
In a related development, Somchai Pleankaew, president of Hino Motors Manufacturing Thailand, who is the company's first Thai president, said the company plans to invest 4 billion baht this year in a trucks and parts manufacturing facility, R&D and integrated services.
"Thailand will be the second main production base for Hino outside Japan," he said.
Mr Somchai said the company will also relocate its production facility from Amata Nakorn Industrial Estate in Chon Buri to Asia Industrial Estate Suvarnabhumi in Samut Prakan.
Construction will begin in July this year. The new factory is due to start operating in 2021 and begin exporting in 2024.
The new factory is projected to produce 13,000 trucks in 2021 and 30,000 units in 2024.
Mr Somkid said the investments by the two firms will help build up confidence among foreign investors.