Nissan Motor is aiming to double its production in Thailand with plans for a new JPY30bn (US$376m) factory near Bangkok, according to media reports.

The new facility in Samut Prakan province would be built near an existing Nissan plant which emerged largely unscathed from record flooding last year that affected Japanese firms’ production in the country [especially Honda’s – ed], the Bangkok Post reported, citing Japan’s Nikkei business daily.

Nissan’s existing plant temporarily stopped production during the disaster, however, owing to a parts shortage, the Nikkei noted. The new factory, scheduled to open in 2014, would produce about 100,000 vehicles annually with plans to boost that figure to 200,000, roughly equivalent to Nissan’s current annual production in Thailand, the Nikkei said.

A Tokyo-based Nissan spokeswoman told the Post the firm would “soon make an announcement about its business in Thailand”. In its latest fiscal year to the end of last March, Nissan made about 190,000 vehicles in Thailand, she added.

The automaker has set a goal to more than double its share of the Thai vehicle market to 15% by fiscal 2016, the Nikkei said. The move came after Japanese automakers cut production in China owing to a sales slump stoked by tensions between Beijing and Tokyo over a group of islands in the East China Sea.

Kyodo News said Nissan currently produces March [Micra] compact cars at its existing Thai plant with annual production capacity of 200,000 units. That report said the new factory, which will be built near the existing one, would initially manufacture around 100,000 units a year and increase annual production to 200,000 units in the future.

Nissan had initially planned to develop a new pickup truck jointly with Mitsubishi Motors and manufacture the new model at Mitsubishi’s Thai plant but decided to produce such trucks at its own plant after the plan was abandoned, Kyodo added.

Meanwhile, Toyota plans to nearly double the production capacity at a Thai plant for diesel engines for the use of vehicles sold in emerging markets.