Thailand is among the countries Ford is reported to be considering as the location of a $1bn small-car factory it is planning for Asia.

The country is already home to a 176,000-units-a-year Ford/Mazda plant in the eastern province of Rayong that makes light pickup trucks for both brands to sell in most markets outside North America.

“Ford is committed to building its business in the region, and we have been investigating the possible establishment of an additional manufacturing facility in Thailand,” Ford said in statement cited by The Associated Press (AP).

The automaker reportedly said Thailand has the potential to become a base for small car production while maintaining its position as a leading producer of pickup trucks, but the company is still talking to the government about its investment plans and possible incentives.

It is important for any small-car investment to be included in the Thai government’s final criteria for fuel-efficient cars and given any incentives and privileges, the statement said, according to AP.

The planned factory would have a production capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year, of which 120,000 would be for export, the statement added.

A Ford spokesman would not tell the Associated Press which other countries were under consideration for the investment.

Ford plans new Thai plant