Chinese EV giant BYD is planning to open its first passenger factory in Thailand. According to the press release, BYD has signed a contract to buy land and build a factory for new energy passenger cars in an industrial park run by a local giant WHA Group. The companies did not disclose an investment amount. The new energy includes pure battery and hybrid power.
The news comes as BYD is expanding quickly into other countries. Notably, the company plans to enter the passenger car market in Japan, home to auto giant Toyota, by selling three electric car models to local customers next year.
BYD said it announced in early August its official entry into Thailand’s passenger car market. The company said the new factory is set to begin operations in 2024, building cars for the local market and exporting to countries such as Southeast Asia. WHA said the vehicles will be exported to Europe.
BYD has been growing tremendously in commercial vehicles such as buses. But in the last few years, the company has quickly become an electric vehicle giant in China, the world’s largest auto market. BYD said it sold more than 487,000 purely battery-powered passenger cars for the first eight months of the year, more than triple the number sold during the same period last year.
Additionally, Thailand’s Board of Investment last month approved BYD’s 18 billion baht plan to manufacture battery-powered vehicles and plug-in hybrid EVs in the country.BYD is in fact among the latest companies to take advantage of the Thai government’s tax incentives, a key part of a plan to make Thailand become the EV production hub of Southeast Asia. The government earlier this year allocated about 43 billion baht through 2025 to promote the use of EVs as part of the effort.
When the factory opens, the annual production capacity will be about 150,000 vehicles. The Thai government wants electric vehicle production to reach about 700,000 by 2030, or 30% of total auto manufacturing. According to Reuters, BYD General Manager Asia-Pacific Sales Liu Xueliang told reporters the factory in Thailand, its latest among more than 30 others in the US, Brazil, and India, will produce the fully electric Atto 3, adding the company was also considering batteries and parts depending on demand.
i) Dashveenjit Kaur (2022) BYD chooses Thailand for its first passenger car factory outside China