Japan's JTEKT Corporation told reporters it aims to make Thailand its main production hub for south-east Asia by 2020.

The company is a leading global manufacturer of automotive bearings, power steering and driveline parts and systems, headquartered in the city of Osaka. It is also a significant manufacturer of machine tools.

Toyota Motor Corporation is the company's largest shareholder with 22% of the equity. Other Toyota companies including Denso, Toyoda and Toyota Tsusho, also hold significant equity in the company.

JTEKT has three automotive component manufacturing subsidiaries in Thailand, making bearings and power steering components and systems. In south-east Asia, it has production operations in Indonesia, Malaysia and Philippines. Most of the output of these companies is sold domestically, to locally-based automakers.

Konishi Yoshikazu, president of JTEKT (Thailand), was quoted in local reports as saying the company "wants to centralise its business in the ASEAN to its Thai operations", without elaborating.

He said the company is targeting a 75% share of the ASEAN steering system market by 2020, from 68% at present. It is also targeting a 40% share of the regional automotive bearings market in the same period, from the current 29%.

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JTEK's high market share in south-east Asia reflects the strong dominance of Japanese automakers there, and Toyota's in particular. US automakers such as Ford and GM are reducing their respective footprints in the region, while European and South Korean manufacturers have a limited presence in these markets.

JTEKT said it generated revenues of JPY120bn (US$118m) in the last fiscal year and is targeting revenues of JPY140m by 2020. In Thailand it employs 4,800 people and generated revenues of JPY35bn in the last fiscal year.