The Thai government this week approved Mazda Motor's application for tax incentives to produce plug-in hybrid vehicles in the country, according to local reports.

The Japanese automaker had submitted a THB11.5bn (US$348m) investment plan to the government's Board of Investment to produce hybrid-electric vehicles and related batteries, traction motors, AC/DC converters and inverters as well as to provide battery management services.

Mazda joins a growing list vehicle manufacturers that have been awarded tax incentives for plug-in hybrid vehicle production in the country, including Mitsubishi, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and SAIC Motor-CP.

Chanchai Trakarnudomsuk, president of Mazda Sales Thailand, said "we are ready to implement the plan to become a building block for the eco-friendly vehicle market". He added that the Thai government is currently working on improving tax incentives for consumers, which will help improve the competitiveness of the local industry.

Mazda aims to sell a total of 200,000 vehicles annually in Southeast Asia by FY2023, up from a targeted 129,000 units in the current fiscal year, led by Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, where it has vehicle assembly plants.

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