Nissan announced the opening of its second production plant in Thailand, where the Japanese carmaker will build the all-new NP300 Navara (sold as the Frontier in North America), which will be exported to 45 countries worldwide.
The Japanese firm has invested 3.7 billion Thai Baht ($114 million) in the 580,000 square meter facility, creating 2,000 new jobs in the process. The plant is expected to reach a full capacity of 150,000 vehicles a year, increasing Nissan’s production capacity in Thailand to 370,000 units.
More than half of the vehicles produced at the new plant will be exported to global markets. Nissan says the localization ratio of vehicles produced is already at 85 percent, including the engine plant.
“Thailand is the engine of growth for us in the region, so we’re excited to be opening this second plant today that will produce our latest pickup”, said Fumiaki Matsumoto, Nissan’s Executive Vice President responsible for global manufacturing. “It signifies our optimism for Thailand, as a growing automotive market, a center of manufacturing excellence for the region and an export hub for the world,” the executive added.
The new plant produced the first NP300 Navara pickup on July 1 and sales began on July 3. The pickup truck is available in two versions: King Cab and Double Cab, priced from 575,000 Thai Baht ($17,760) and 656,000 Thai Baht ($20,262), respectively. Deliveries to Thai customers begin in mid-August.
Thailand is a key market for Nissan, with the country hosting two plants and an R&D facility and increasing in importance as the company’s Asian hub for exports and manufacturing.
By Dan Mihalascu