Mazda is set to produce hybrid cars in Thailand after the country’s Board of Investment (BoI) gave its green light to a 11.48 billion baht (RM1.46 billion) investment application, the Bangkok Post reports.

The application is for the assembly of finished hybrid vehicles and five core parts – battery, traction motor, battery management, AC/DC converter and inverter.

“Mazda is ready to implement the plan to become a building block for all eco-friendly vehicles. Thailand has to start producing hybrid versions before improving the local industry and marketing plug-in hybrids and battery EVs in the future,” said Chanchai Trakarnudomsuk, president of Mazda Sales Thailand.

Mazda isn’t famous for hybrids, but there’s a hybrid version of the current generation Mazda 3 for the Japanese market. The JDM Axela Hybrid licenses Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive system, paired to Mazda’s own 2.0 litre petrol engine. It’s rated at 30.8 km/l in the Japanese JC08 test cycle. An all-new Mazda 3 is just around the corner, set to debut at the LA Auto Show later this month.

The Hiroshima-based carmaker – which plans to electrify all its vehicles by 2030 under its ‘Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030’ long-term vision – recently confirmed the return of the rotary engine as a range extender.

With its investment application approved, Mazda joins Toyota in receiving BoI incentives in the hybrid category. The latter produces the C-HR Hybrid in the Land of Smiles. Plug-in hybrid category incentives have been given to Mercedes-Benz, BMW and SAIC Motor (MG), with Mitsubishi possibly next. Learn more about Thailand’s green car local assembly incentives here.