September 6, 2014 / 2:45 PM / 3 years ago

VW to invest 1 bln euros in Thai plant -Wirtschaftswoche magazine

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FRANKFURT, Sept 6 (Reuters) - Volkswagen plans to invest 1 billion euros ($1.30 billion) to build a new manufacturing plant to produce fuel efficient cars in Thailand, a German magazine said on Saturday.

The Thai government is expected to grant Volkswagen approval for the plant on Tuesday, Wirtschaftswoche magazine reported, without citing sources.

The plant, which will build 1.4 litre petrol engine cars and which could turn out up to 300,000 vehicles per year at full capacity, is due to go on line by 2019, the magazine said, adding that part of the production would be destined for other markets in the region.

A Volkswagen spokesman declined to comment on the report.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in April the company had applied to build its first plant in Thailand, seeking to take advantage of tax breaks that had already attracted investment from Ford and General Motors.

Volkswagen already produces its Passat, Polo and Jetta models in Malaysia in conjunction with a local partner, while a new plant in Indonesia will take advantage of growing demand there.

VW Chief Executive Martin Winterkorn has repeatedly said that his company needed to expand its presence in southeast Asia if it is to achieve its goal of unseating Toyota as global market leader. (1 US dollar = 0.7722 euro) (Reporting by Jonathan Gould and Jan Schwartz, editing by David Evans)

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