Toyota Motor launched its new Yaris eco car in Thailand this week, produced at its new THB12bn (US$380m) assembly plant in Chachoengsao, on the eastern seaboard.

The car is powered by a 1.2 litre engine which meets the programme’s minimum fuel-efficiency requirement of 20km/litre within a price range of THB 469,000-599,000 ($15,000-$19,220).

Toyota signed up to the Thai government’s eco-car programme in 2007 which offered a five year corporation tax holiday and other incentives in return for a minimum investment equivalent to $144m and a minimum production volume of 100,000 units per year within five years of start up.

Toyota also announced its commitment to Thailand’s phase II of the eco car programme, designed to allow vehicle manufacturers that missed out on the first phase to join up and existing participants to expand their operations with similar incentives. The deadline for applications is 31 March, 2014.