The Bangkok Post reports that Ford is planning to create a base in Thailand that will monitor sales and marketing throughout the Asia-Pacific region. The report says that Ford wants to set up the base within a year.

The newspaper, quoting a 'Ford insider' as source, also says that Ford is working on new measures for global markets to share platforms and adapt them to meet local market requirements.

Ford's decision to house its Asia-Pacific's head office in Thailand underlines the country's importance as an automotive hub in the region. China would be excluded, as its size merits special treatment.

Earlier this year it was reported that Ford is planning to beat Toyota in the Thai market within the next five years. By 2006, Ford officials believe that the Thai light vehicle market will be running at a level of 500,000 to 600,000 units - almost twice its current level.

Other manufacturers, including BMW and Toyota, have also announced plans to put Thai operations at the centre of their southeast Asian operations.