VW gets government approval for Thai plant

(Reuters) – Germany’s Volkswagen has won approval from Thai authorities to build a manufacturing plant for fuel efficient cars near Bangkok after months of delays.

A VW spokesman said on Saturday that it had received the go-ahead but the carmaker would now assess the situation and that no decision has been made yet whether to build the factory, confirming a report in German weekly magazine WirtschaftsWoche.

According to previous media reports, the 1 billion euro ($1.1 billion) plant is intended to build 1.4 litre petrol engine cars and could turn out up to 300,000 vehicles per year at full capacity.

The spokesman declined to provide details about any future Thai plant.

Sources familiar with the matter told Reuters in April last year 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. ($1 = 0.8789 euros) (Reporting by Ludwig Burger; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)