Mazda has plans to channel more investment into its engine and transmission manufacturing plant in Rayong, Thailand before 2020 in order to handle greater capacity and newer powertrain technologies, according to the Bangkok Post. This is for the automaker to take advantage of excise tax incentives for hybridised or otherwise electrified vehicles assembled in Thailand, pending clarification of government policy.

“Whatever kind of hybrid it is, it’s all about reducing CO2 emissions. Fuel consumption drops in parallel with CO2 emissions which is simply to the benefit of the consumers. This is why we think mild hybrids also deserve a lower excise rate,” a source told the Bangkok Post. Mazda wants to start its path to electrification with 48-volt electrical architecture, which is increasingly common particularly amongst European makes.

The first mild hybrid to emerge from Mazda will come alongside Skyactiv-X technologies, which is expected to arrive in 2019. More crucially for Thailand, the next-generation Mazda 2 hatchback and sedan are due to arrive a year after that in 2020, the report added.

Today’s Mazda 2 is built to Thailand’s Ecocar II regulations, which covers vehicles emitting no more than 100 g/km of CO2, and could become cheaper in the future should it become eligible for the hybrid excise duty rate of 5%, the report said. In the nearer future, Mazda plans to make mild hybridity a feature in all its models bar the BT-50 pick-up truck which already enjoys a 3% rate in Thailand.

With production of the next-generation BT-50 pick-up truck moving to Isuzu’s facility in a new joint development agreement, capacity can be freed up at Mazda’s Rayong plant for more passenger car models with newer technologies.