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[BANGKOK] German carmaker BMW Group is considering building a new plug-in hybrid vehicle battery factory in Thailand, the country's industry minister said on Friday.
Construction was likely to start in the middle of next year with an investment of 2 billion baht (S$77 million), industry minister Atchaka Sibunruang said, adding that the factory would make hybrid vehicles more affordable for Thai consumers.
"Hybrid vehicles are still expensive now but once there is a factory established and batteries are available this will make it affordable for consumers," Atchaka told reporters.
A spokesman for BMW in Thailand said the company was not immediately able to comment on the investment but would issue a statement on Monday.
Ms Atchaka said the Thai government was working with BMW to offer tax incentives in order to make the country a centre for plug-in hybrid vehicles.
Thailand is a regional production and export hub for the world's top carmakers, and the sector accounts for around 10 per cent of the country's gross domestic product.