Nissan Motor reckons a strong management team and advanced, environment-friendly technology will see it make a sales and image comeback in Thailand over the next five years, according to local reports.

"We'll keep making progress in Thailand, as sales of pickups and small cars are growing, and there's room for growth. We hope to make a comeback in the market in the next five years," president and CEO Carlos Ghosn told The Nation.

He said local unit Siam Nissan Automobile had a strong management team and a good sourcing and export base.

Nissan's business strategy for Asean is to increase volume and market share with new models, improve brand perception and make the region a major export base for vehicles and parts.

Thailand is the biggest market and Nissan has spent US$760m in the last three years to increase capacity, upgrade production facilities and refurbish dealers and service centres. The Thai plant will have an annual capacity of more than 200,000 units by next year, The Nation said.

Electric cars are not planned for Thailand but an environmentally friendly A-platform car will be introduced there.

Though India and China are cheaper, Nissan has no plans to move its production base from Thailand, The Nation said.

"Thailand is considered one of the most important manufacturing hubs in Asean, especially for pickups," it quoted Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn as saying.

"We have invested a large amount to upgrade our facilities, and now it is a world-class standard plant. Thailand is also a location for our parts consolidation centre - the second-largest one after Japan. Thailand is now a main export hub to more than 120 countries around the world."