By on July 20, 2011

Thailand, with a low currency, strong local demand and many foreign trade agreements, turns more and more into the South-East-Asian auto hub. Business-in-Asia gave it the unfortunate title “Detroit of Asia.” Thailand’s auto industry is targeting production of 3 million vehicles annually by 2015, more than countries like Canada, France, even Mexico currently make. Toyota, Honda and Nissan already have a pretty tight grip on the country. Now, Nissan is taking it a notch up.

Nissan is using Thailand as a major manufacturing base. Bringing Made-in-Thailand Micras (here known as March) back to Japan, Nissan took the crown of largest importer of cars to Japan away from Volkswagen. And they just got started. So far, no complaints from the quality-obsessed Japanese customers. In a nod to Thailand’s rising importance, Nissan will be relocating its regional headquarters from (expensive) Singapore to (more affordable) Thailand, says The Nikkei [sub]. Knowing that the Nikkei and Nissan can sometimes be at odds, we asked for confirmation and received it:

“To further strengthen our business in the region and successfully realize our goals of the Mid Term Plan, a systematically integrated and deeply cross-functional operation at RHQ is indispensable. Nissan has decided to strategically re-organize current regional M&S operation at Nissan Asia Pacific Pte. Ltd. (NAP) in Singapore and Nissan Technical Center South East Asia Co., Ltd. (NTCSEA) in Thailand, to form a new, centralized strategic RHQ named “Nissan Motor Asia Pacific Company Limited (NMAP)” in Thailand, effective July 1st,”  a company spokesperson (with obvious Pentagon-background) said.

The move will be formally announced at a press conference in Bangkok on July 25.


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