Several sources, including the Bangkok Post, are reporting that BMW has chosen Malaysia as its operations centre for Asia, citing comments made by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad in Berlin yesterday.

Dr Mahathir, has reportedly said that BMW would set up regional operations in the Cyberjaya technology centre and in the southern port of Tanjung Pelepas.

The Bangkok Post reported that BMW's Thai operations responded that such a development in Malaysia would have no impact on BMW's Thai assembly operations.

Last month BMW outlined plans to make Thailand the export base serving Asian markets after its factory in Rayong becomes a full assembly plant in the next four to five years.

The Malaysian government's long established policy of protecting national makers, principally Proton, has tended to make it an unattractive country for substantial investment from overseas.