According to a report by Bangkok Post, Toyota Motor is set to invest heavily in Thailand to upgrade its compact car development and production centre for exports.

The move is part of Toyota’s emerging-market compact car scheme, which will be developed together with its fully-owned subsidiary Daihatsu. The company had previously announced the establishment of the new internal company, which was christened the ‘Emerging-market Compact Car Company’.

The company will develop compact cars specifically for developing countries, leveraging on Daihatsu’s expertise of producing quality and affordable products, and remaining “untethered by conventional practices and rules.”

Thailand’s deputy prime minister, Somkid Jatusripitak said Toyota will expand its investment in compact car development and production in tandem with pick-up trucks and electrified vehicles. This is to develop economies of scale for electric vehicles (EVs) and batteries in the future, he explained, quoting Shinya Kotera, managing officer of Toyota Motor.

In addition, Toyota will also help train human resources on new automotive technologies. “The decision is likely to be approved by Toyota’s board at its meeting in May,” said Somkid.

On a related matter, Toyota Motor Thailand is already in talks with the parent company about its investment policy in making hybrid vehicles and parts in Thailand. Ninnart Chaitharapinyo, the company’s vice-chairman said the plan is still awaiting the approval from Toyota Motor.

Ninnart revealed previously that the company has the capability to move into hybrid vehicle production in Thailand. He added that a feasibility study to establish a local battery manufacturing facility is currently in the works, and an investment plan could be revealed later on.

Toyota is looking to export hybrid vehicles from Thailand, although its production plan will focus largely on hybrid electric vehicles, as plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles require more advanced technology.