MANILA, Philippines (AP) — Japan’s second largest automaker say it remains optimistic about Southeast Asia’s auto market despite political turmoil in Thailand, one of the region’s key car manufacturers.

Takao Katagiri, executive vice president at Nissan Motor Co., said Friday the turmoil in Bangkok is temporary and won’t affect long term plans in Thailand and the rest of Southeast Asia.

Anti-government protesters this week consolidated rallies they had been staging at several major intersections in Bangkok to one venue.

Katagiri said Nissan will continue to invest in Thailand and the region, including the Philippines, where it established a new joint venture late last year with a 51 percent stake.

He says Nissan has an 8 percent share of Southeast Asia’s auto market and hopes to expand its share to 15 percent by 2016.

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