Ford Motor has confirmed it is looking to build an assembly plant in Indonesia “in the near future”, as the market continues to show strong growth potential.

Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president for Asia-Pacific and Africa, told reporters on the fringes of the Delhi Auto Expo that he expects Indonesia “will soon overtake Thailand to become the largest auto market in the ASEAN region”.

He would not give a specific time-line for his forecast, but added that he was “excited by Indonesia’s significant growth potential”.

Data released by Indonesian auto industry association Gaikindo shows last year’s sales increased by over 17% to a record 893,240 units, equivalent to more than one-third of total ASEAN sales.

The association expects Indonesian domestic vehicle sales to exceed one million in the next 2-3 years.

Thai full-year sales data is yet to be released, but the market is expected to be around of 800,000 units - with sales and production in the fourth quarter severely hampered by floods.