Nissan Motor Asia Pacific (NMAP) has announced plans to expand Nissan Technical Centre South East Asia (NTCSEA), with a total investment of ¥3.4 billion (RM112.4 million). The R&D function is located in Samutprakarn, Bangkok, next to the company’s manufacturing plants.

The expansion will involve the addition of a test course, several testing facilities including chassis and engine dynamometers, and a new management office by the middle of next year. Workforce is set to more than triple to 370 by 2016, including an increase at NTCSEA’s Indonesian branch.

By 2015, NTCSEA will take care of all R&D processes for ASEAN market models following the vehicle engineering design stage currently handled by the global R&D function in Japan. This will allow NTCSEA to better and more quickly reflect specific customer preferences in the region.

“Strengthening the regional R&D function will enhance product attractiveness, competitiveness and quality,” said Nissan Executive VP Mitsuhiko Yamashita. “As Nissan’s footprint continues to expand in the region, it is even more important to strengthen our local R&D capabilities to better serve the growing customer base.”

NTCSEA is responsible for 10 countries and six production sites across the ASEAN region.