BANGKOK (Reuters) – Thailand will work with Toyota Motor Corp in developing the country’s electric vehicle (EV) industry, Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin said after a meeting with the automakers’ executives.
“Toyota said it sees the potential in Thailand’s automobile manufacturing industry, especially in pickup trucks and green cars,” the government said in a statement Thursday.
The announcement comes as Toyota plans to test its first EV pickup truck in Thailand in a new bid to boost electric vehicle sales in the country, where it faces growing competition from Chinese rivals.
For decades, the world’s 10th largest automotive hub has been dominated by Japanese firms such as Toyota and Honda Motor Co, which use Thailand as a major export base.
By 2030, Thailand aims to convert a third of its annual production of 2.5 million vehicles to electric vehicles.
On Thursday, Thailand’s government also implemented a three-year tax holiday for automakers investing in automation and robotics after last week reducing a subsidy to consumers for the purchase of electric vehicles.
The country accounted for around half of all electric vehicle sales in Southeast Asia in the second quarter, with Chinese brands such as BYD and Great Wall Motor leading sales.