Nissan Motor will take over production and sales of its cars in Thailand, sealing a deal next week that fell through at the last minute two years ago.
Japan’s third largest carmaker will raise its stakes in Siam Nissan Motor and Nissan Sales, the distribution company, and Siam Nissan Automobile, the manufacturing company, to 75% from 25%, taking control of the companies from the Siam Motors group, Thailand’s Nation newspaper reported, according to Reuters.
Nissan, owned 44% by France’s Renault SA, will try to further dilute Siam Motors’ stakes by implementing a capital increase plan – a move that Siam Motors would try to block, the paper reportedly said.
According to Reuters, a spokesman at the Japanese carmaker declined to comment on the report, saying Nissan would discuss its Thai operations at a press conference in Bangkok on Monday.
The Nation reportedly quoted a source familiar with the deal as saying Siam Motors would keep a 25.1% stake in the two companies because it would not be able to block a capital increase plan with anything less.
Reuters noted that, two years ago, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn returned to Japan empty-handed after failing to persuade the Phornprapha family, which controls Siam Motors, to relinquish management control in Siam Nissan.
Ghosn will be present to sign the deal in Bangkok on Monday, the Nation reportedly said.
Reuters said that, with the Japanese automaker owning just one-quarter of the ventures, Nissan’s sales have faltered in the fast-growing Thai market, where domestic rivals Toyota and Honda have been making big strides.
In 2003, sales at Siam Nissan, which builds the Frontier pickup and Cefiro and Sunny cars, fell 1.8% to 43,557 units in a total market that grew 30% to 533,000 units, the report added.
Siam Nissan is Thailand’s fourth largest carmaker after Toyota, Isuzu and Honda with an 8.2% share, Reuters said.