To date, the fallout from Volkswagen’s diesel emissions scandal is mostly irrelevant to consumers in ASEAN, where diesel-powered vehicles are mostly limited to pick-trucks and other large commercial vehicles. Today, we learned from Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review that Thailand could just be the first ASEAN-related casualty.
The financial weekly made a brief mention that Volkswagen’s proposed investment for an eco-car plant in Thailand, reportedly worth between 750 million to 1 billion Euros could be cancelled, or even scaled back.
The recent events involving the illegal software fitted to the Volkswagen Group’s EA 189 engine is expected to place severe financial stress on the company, and Volkswagen Group’s new Matthias Muller has recently announced that non-essential investments will be cancelled or delayed.
Earlier this year, Volkswagen has reportedly obtained an approval from Thailand to build a 300,000 cars per year car plant in Thailand, allowing it to take advantage of incentives provided under Thailand’s Eco-Car Phase 2 plan.
Volkswagen however, did not officially confirm or deny the news reports.
While it might have obtained the necessary approvals, it is not known if Volkswagen will be exercising that option in Thailand.
Under Thailand’s Eco-Car Phase 2 project, eligible manufacturers are required to begin manufacturing by 2019.