Mitsubishi Motors said it plans to launch a locally-assembled Outlander plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) in the Thai market in January 2021.

The THB3.13bn (US$100m) investment was approved in late 2018 and also includes production of a battery-powered electric vehicle. The project qualifies for investment privileges from the Thai government’s Board of Investment, including extended corporate tax holidays, duty-free imports of manufacturing equipment and favourable local excise taxes.

The Outlander PHEV has a range of 60km in electric vehicle mode, with the gasoline engine on standby for longer distances.

Mitsubishi Motors sold 88,244 vehicles in Thailand last year, including 35,807 Triton pickup trucks, 16,196 Xpander SUVs imported from Indonesia, 22,683 Mirage/Attrage small cars and 13,588 Pajero SUVs.

Mitsubishi Motors Thailand also exported 332,700 vehicles last year, 3.9% fewer than in 2018. Of these, 284,500 vehicles were completely built-up units (CBUs) and 48,200 were completely knocked-down kits for assembly in other countries. Total production amounted to 407,200 vehicles, down by 8.3% on 2018 volumes.

The company said it expects to sell between 82,000 and 85,000 units in Thailand in 2020, including 3,000 PHEVs – ahead of the launch of the locally-made Outlander PHEV. It expects the overall Thai market to decline by between 6% and 9% to 920,000-950,000 vehicles this year.