Assembly of Subaru cars will start in Thailand early 2019, starting with the Subaru Forester model, it has been affirmed. Bangkok Post reports that the plan by Tan Chong International Ltd (TCIL) to invest US$150 million to make 10,000 Subaru cars a year in the Kingdom is on track.

At present the sole Subaru manufacturing base in ASEAN is in Malaysia, where the XV and Forester models roll out of the Tan Chong Motor Assemblies plant in Segambut at the rate of 15,000 to 16,000 units per annum, for both domestic consumption and export to neighbouring countries.

Samson Chua, the newly appointed GM of TC Subaru Thailand, TCIL’s Thai sales arm, says that both Thai and Malaysian facilities will operate in parallel from 2019 to serve ASEAN, but the model split is yet to be determined. The Thai factory will be located at Bangkok’s Lat Krabang Industrial Estate.

Last year was a good year for Subaru in Thailand, with sales of 3,318 units, up 25.6% year-on-year. The target for this year is 3,200 units, but TC Subaru Thailand has managed just 761 units in the first five months of 2017, due to a delay in replenishing stock of the Malaysian-made XV. Next year’s sales will be boosted by the new XV, which is set to reach ASEAN in Q4 this year.

GALLERY: 2017 Subaru XV 2.0i-S