German tyre maker Continental is mulling the building of a new tyre plant in the Asia-Pacific region, with Thailand and China featuring high on the list of potential investment locations.

Local reports in Thailand, quoting the general manager of distributor, Continental Tires Thailand Sirivan Koo-amphorn, suggest a final decision is expected to be made in September.

According to Sirivan, Continental’s three tyre plants in the region, in China, India and Malaysia, are operating at close to full capacity.

Thailand is the largest vehicle producer in South-east Asia with output exceeding 1.9m units last year.

The total tyre market in Thailand is estimated at some 11m units, including 3m medium and heavy trucks tyres. Continental’s current share of this market is around 3%, but this would rise sharply if production is localised.

The German components supplier already has a manufacturing presence in Thailand, making fuel-injection systems at a facility in Rayong.