April 26, 2017 / 11:20 AM / 2 years ago

Mitsubishi Motors becomes Thailand's largest vehicle exporter

BANGKOK, April 26 (Reuters) - Mitsubishi Motors Corp has become the number one automotive exporter in Thailand for the first time, it said on Wednesday, toppling Toyota from the top spot.

It exported 309,915 vehicles in the year to the end of March, up from 280,764 the previous year, Mitsubishi said in a statement.

Thailand is a regional production base and export hub for the world’s top carmakers but was overtaken by Indonesia in recent years as Southeast Asia’s largest car market.

On Tuesday, Mitsubishi Chairman Carlos Ghosn said he wanted the auto firm to reform itself while ruling out a full merger of the Japanese car maker and Nissan Motor Co Ltd .

Speaking to reporters in Bangkok Ghosn said exporting from Thailand was “good business.”

Ghosn, who was in Thailand to visit Mitsubishi’s Laem Chabang plant on the country’s eastern seaboard, said both Nissan, which has a controlling stake in Mitsubishi, and Mitsubishi had the potential to “do a much better job in market share in Asia.”

The Laem Chabang plant is the largest global production hub for Mitsubishi with more than 80 percent of all local production sold for export.

It is one of four plants operated by the firm in Thailand.

Europe is the top export destination for vehicles produced by Mitsubishi in Thailand. (Reporting by Amy Sawitta Lefevre; Editing by Susan Thomas)

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