Last Friday, Nissan revealed in Bangkok that it will build a second assembly plant in Thailand at a cost of 11 billion baht ($358 million). Reuters adds that the new plant will be located near its existing factory in Samut Prakarn province, which can produce 220,000 vehicles a year.

The new facility will have an annual production capacity of 75,000 vehicles when it opens in August 2014, and like the first one, will produce passenger cars and pickup trucks. Capacity will eventually double to 150,000 vehicles, half of that marked for exports.

“Adding 150,000 units of production capacity will not only enable us to raise our competitiveness in the domestic market but will ensure Thailand’s position as a key strategic global export hub for Nissan,” Nissan’s executive vice-president Hiroto Saikawa said in a statement, while denying that this Thai second plant is to diversify production after anti-Japanese demonstrations in China.

“The reason we will be investing in Thailand more is because we trust in the growth in the ASEAN region and Thailand. China’s economy is slowing down, but still growing. We have no intention of shifting from China. China is a very important market for us,” he added.

Buoyed by the Thai government subsidy for first car owners, Nissan Thailand has revised upwards its sales target for this fiscal year ending March 2013 to 132,000 vehicles from 127,000. The carmaker has set its sights on a 15% market share in the Kingdom by 2016, up from around 10% now.