More on Eco-Car - Easy sell in Japan!

I'm trying to follow the Eco-Car issue as closely as possible, and since I'm quite opinionated regarding it, I've chosen to put this sort of stuff on my blog rather than clutter up the main news area with my ranting.

If you've been reading my recent posts regarding it you might have learned that automakers in Thailand would seem to be less than receptive to the idea. At least that is what the Bangkok Post has been reporting. I found it hard to understand the reasons for the lack of enthusiasm for the idea. After all, the potential is there to sell more cars in a new segment, without overly impacting on the current model lines.

Regardless, the negative outlook seemed widespread, and there seemed to be a lot of confusion about the project.

But now it seems like it is just the Thai auto industry executives that don't get it. This is taken from MCOT net TNA news:

Six leading Japanese auto manufacturers have expressed interest to invest in manufacturing eco-cars -- fuel-efficient automobiles -- in Thailand, according to Kosit Panpiemras, deputy prime minister and minister of industry.

Mr. Kosit made the announcement after visiting three Japanese cities and meeting six major Japanese auto manufacturers regarding the Thai Ministry of Industry policy to promote eco-car manufacturing in Thailand.

I like it. Clever guy recognized the narrow minded, stagnant and unwilling attitudes prevalent in a one-tracked, pickup truck loving auto industry in Thailand, and decided to take the idea and pitch it directly to the automakers in Japan.

In Japan there are positively dozens of small and cheap cars, and many of them could be adapted to fit in with the eco-car requirements and built in Thailand for sale here, and export to Europe and elsewhere, perhaps even back to Japan as is already the case with other models produced in Thailand that take advantage of Thai BoI incentives.

According to the TNA article the interested automakers will have until March to submit their investment plans, and will be expected to begin production within about 2 years.

The full article is available here. (At time of writing, but these sort of pages have the habit of moving around.)

If the Japanese big two (Toyota and Honda) take on eco-car and do well, then everyone else will scramble in to feed off the scraps.