Chinese EV manufacturers ramp up investment in Thailand
Changan Automobile, China’s fourth largest electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, has set a target of manufacturing 100,000 EVs in Thailand per year, both for the domestic market and export to countries with right hand drive such as Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and South Africa, a news source revealed on Tuesday.
The source said the state-owned company recently received the greenlight from the Chinese government to apply for investment promotional privileges from the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI).
In the first phase, it aimed to invest 8.8 billion baht to establish the first manufacturing base in Thailand that would focus on 100% electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEV), and range extended electric vehicles (REEV).
The Chongqing-based automaker, which sold over 2 million EVs last year, aims to unveil its first made-in-Thailand model at the Motor Expo 2023, which is scheduled to run from November 30 to December 11 at Impact Exhibition and Convention Centre in Nonthaburi province, said the source.
BOI's secretary general Narit Therdsteerasukdi has said that Changan started studying investment possibilities in Thailand in 2020.
The automaker had approached the BOI’s Shanghai Office to obtain in-depth information of the Thai market and the government's investment promotion measures, he said.
Earlier this year, BYD, another Chinese EV giant, announced it was investing 17.9 billion baht to set up a new facility in Thailand that will start producing 150,000 passenger cars per year from 2024, some of which will be exported to Southeast Asia and Europe.
GAC Aion, a subsidiary of state-owned Chinese automaker Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC), is also planning to invest more than 6.4 billion baht to produce EVs in Thailand, according to the BOI.