Toyota Motor Thailand has confirmed that a new THB 12 billion (USD 400 million) car assembly plant in Chachoengsao will be fully operational by the third quarter of 2013.

The new plant will be Toyota’s largest in Thailand, with a production capacity of 300,000 vehicles per year. It will produce a new small car under the Thai government’s Eco-Car programme. 

Toyota’s original plant in Thailand, in Samrong, Samut Prakan makes the Hilux Vigo pickup truck, and has an annual capacity of 240,000 units per year. Recently, it was upgraded to produce the Hiace minibus and van, replacing imports from Japan. 

Toyota already has two plants in Chachoengsao, both with a capacity of 230,000 vehicles per year. One makes passenger cars sold domestically and across the ASEAN region, Australia and the Middle-East. The other plant assembles the Hilux Vigo pickup truck and the Fortuner SUV derivative, both of which are also widely exported.

Toyota sold a total of 516,086 vehicles in Thailand last year – an increase of 78% on the previous year. The overall market was up by around 80% at 1.44 million units. Toyota also exported 405,892 vehicles from Thailand last year – up nearly 62% on 2011.