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China's BYD opens EV factory in Thailand, first in Southeast Asia

China's BYD opens EV factory in Thailand, first in Southeast Asia

Thursday, July 04, 2024, 12:29 GMT+7
China's BYD opens EV factory in Thailand, first in Southeast Asia
The BYD logos are displayed at the 45th Bangkok International Motor Show in Bangkok, Thailand, March 25, 2024. Photo: Reuters

RAYONG, Thailand -- China's BYD opened an electric vehicle plant in Thailand on Thursday, the auto maker's first factory in Southeast Asia, a fast-growing regional EV market where it has become the dominant player.

"Thailand has a clear EV vision and is entering a new era of auto manufacturing," BYD CEO and President Wang Chuanfu said at the opening ceremony.

BYD's plant is part of a wave of investment worth over $1.44 billion from Chinese EV makers who are setting up factories in Thailand, helped by government subsidies and tax incentives.

By 2030, Thailand aims to convert 30 percent of its annual production of 2.5 million vehicles into EVs, according to a government plan.

Thailand is a regional auto assembly and export hub and has long been dominated by Japanese car makers, such as Toyota Motors, Honda Motors, and Isuzu Motors.

"BYD is using Thailand as a production hub for export to ASEAN and many other countries," said Narit Therdsteerasukdi, Secretary General of Thailand's Board of Investment, referring to the 10-nation Southeast Asian bloc.

The facility, announced two years ago, is worth $490 million and will have a production capacity of 150,000 vehicles per year, including plug-in hybrids.

"We will also assemble batteries and other important parts here," said Liu Xueliang, BYD's Asia Pacific general manager.



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