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Report: Honda to shift Accord hybrid production to Thailand

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. plans to spend 5.82 billion Thai baht to move the production of its Accord hybrid sedan to Thailand from Japan, the Nikkei Asian Review reported Aug. 8, citing unnamed sources.

Thailand is offering incentives like cutting excise duties and lowering levies to encourage the production of electric vehicles and hybrids, according to the report.

Honda is producing its Accord vehicles in Sayama, Japan, but it plans close the site's operations by the end of March 2022, the report said. The move will begin with Accord's latest model, which is slated for release in early 2020.

The Nikkei reported that the Japanese automaker believes it would be more efficient to import its Accord vehicles from Thailand since it already has a factory in the Southeast Asian country.

The Thai plant, which makes the Accord with the steering wheel on the right side, produced 3,000 units in 2018, the report said. The figure is expected to significantly increase in 2019 given the company's plan to boost its hybrid output.

Honda is also considering exporting its cars from Thailand to other countries, including Australia, the newspaper added.

As of Aug. 7, US$1 was equivalent to 30.81 Thai baht.