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BYD to set up EV plant in Thailand, its first in Southeast Asia

Writer:   |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Xinhua  |  Updated: 2022-09-09

Shenzhen-based electric car maker BYD Co. signed a land purchase deal Thursday with WHA Corp., Thailand’s largest industrial estates developer, for a 96-hectare plot in an industrial estate in the eastern province of Rayong to build its first electric vehicle production plant in Southeast Asia.

The plant is expected to start operation in 2024 and have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles, mostly for export to Southeast Asia and Europe, the companies said in a joint statement.

The deal follows BYD’s partnership with local distributor Rever Automotive Co., which announced last month it will start selling BYD cars in several dealerships across Thailand by the end of 2022. BYD has announced its entry to several overseas markets in recent months, including Denmark, Germany, Israel, Japan and Cambodia.

The new facility marks “a significant advancement in our group’s expansion,” Liu Xueliang, general manager of BYD’s Asia-Pacific auto sales division, said in the statement.

WHA said the deal is its “most significant” in 20 years, with chief executive officer Jareeporn Jarukornsakul adding the developer plans to launch phase two of the Rayong Estate in anticipation that BYD’s presence will spur other EV investments.

“More EV supply chain will follow BYD here,” she said.

BYD plans to invest about 30 billion baht (US$823 million) in production of electric vehicles, according to Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor Office. Thailand’s Board of Investment last month approved BYD’s 18 billion baht plan to manufacture battery-powered vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles in the country.

The EV maker is among the latest companies to take advantage of the Thai Government’s tax incentives, a key part of a plan to make Thailand — a longstanding auto manufacturing powerhouse — the EV production hub of Southeast Asia. The Thai Government earlier this year allocated about 43 billion baht through 2025 to promote the use of EVs as part of the effort.

Thailand aims to ramp up local EV output to reach at least 30% of total car production by 2030.

BYD saw surging NEV sales growth in the first seven months of 2022 amid a market boom.

In a filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange in August, the company said its sales of NEVs, including pure electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, surged 292% year on year to 803,880 units in the January-July period. In July alone, it sold 162,530 units, compared with 50,492 units in the same month a year ago.

BYD has ceased the production of traditional gasoline-powered vehicles since March.