ASEAN-Minded Nissan Expands Thailand R&D Facility

Nissan’s first R&D vehicle-test facility in the ASEAN and Oceania region initially will evaluate 12 models, including its core model Navara, Almera ecocar and X-Trail Hybrid.

Alan Harman, Correspondent

May 9, 2016

1 Min Read
Centerrsquos RampD priorities include putting Navara pickup through paces
Center’s R&D priorities include putting Navara pickup through paces.

Nissan opens an expanded R&D center in Thailand to help the automaker respond more quickly to market requirements of customers in the ASEAN region.

With the additional investment of more than TB1 billion ($28.4 million), Nissan says the scope will be enlarged from quality assurance for product launches to add the upstream product-development phase of evaluation tests for trial prototypes.

It is Nissan’s first R&D vehicle-test facility in the ASEAN and Oceania region. The automaker says 12 models initially will be evaluated at the center, including its core model Navara pickup, Almera ecocar and X-Trail Hybrid.

Corporate Vice President Hiroshi Nagaoka says Nissan Motor Asia Pacific will be responsible for the physical stage of development and assume responsibility for the evaluation, testing and production stages.

“This work will be transferred from Japan to Thailand to ensure our products are aligned with market needs,” he says.

The 69,965-sq.-ft. (6,600-sq.-m) facility primarily will serve the five ASEAN countries of Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand, but also will provide testing for more than 90 other countries.

NMAP says the expanded center has industry-first testing facilities in Thailand, including an anechoic chamber, acoustic chamber and vibration simulator with environment chamber.

By the end of fiscal 2016, a total of 330 staff will be employed, with Thai engineers trained in Japan to operate the testing facilities.

Nissan Thailand President Kazutaka Nambu says the automaker chose the location for the center because of Thailand’s skilled workforce, competitive location, strong supply chain and effective policy support from the Thai government.

About the Author(s)

Alan Harman

Correspondent, WardsAuto

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