TUESDAY, April 16, 2024

China keen to invest in EV manufacturing in Thailand

China keen to invest in EV manufacturing in Thailand

Significant progress was made in discussing investment plans during last week’s investment promotion activity in Chengdu and Chongqing, where Thai Board of Investment (BOI) representatives met with executives from major Chinese EV manufacturers, including Chongqing Changan Automobile and Chery Automobile, the BOI’s secretary-general Narit Therdsteerasukdi said.

The BOI also brought Thai business operators from the Thai Automotive Industry Association to participate in the 19th Western China International Fair (WCIF), one of the top 10 national fairs in China.

The BOI presented a range of new investment opportunities in targeted industries, particularly those in which China has expertise, such as EVs, electronics, digital technology, and BCG (Bio-Technology, Culture, and Green Technology), along with various government support measures.

The BOI also worked with the Science and Technology Bureau of Chengdu and the Technology Transfer Center of Mianyang City in organising seminars and linking Thai and Chinese business operators in the green energy industry, including solar energy, wind energy, as well as electric charging systems and energy storage devices. Participants included the Thai Automotive Industry Association and companies within the PTT Group, TCC Group, and Saha Union.

Zhu Huarong, chairman of Chongqing Changan Automobile and his senior management team emphasized the importance of Thailand and confirmed plans to invest in establishing an EV manufacturing plant in Thailand. The initial investment is estimated at around 9 billion baht. The company, which plans to launch its EVs in Thailand by the end of this year, recognises the potential of the Thai market and the Asean region, as well as Thailand's readiness to become a prominent automotive production hub in the region.

Regarding investment in establishing EV manufacturing plants, significant progress has been made, with preparations on the Thai side now complete. The final approval from the Chinese government is the remaining step.


Additionally, the company has plans to conduct research and develop vehicles in Thailand in the future, as they see great potential in Thailand beyond being a manufacturing base. The BOI presented the growth outlook for the EV market in Thailand, and the latest support measures, as well as the continuity of EV support policies.

Chery Automobile, another major Chinese EV manufacturer, held discussions with the responsible management team for foreign investment in the company. They view Thailand as a strategic country suitable for establishing a right-hand drive electric vehicle manufacturing base for export to various countries worldwide. The company is currently in negotiations with partners and considering appropriate investment models in Thailand. The company plans to introduce an electric SUV (small utility vehicle) as its first model in early 2024 to cater to the rapid growth of the Thai electric vehicle market.

Both major Chinese EV manufacturers believe that Thailand has the potential to be a manufacturing and export base for right-hand-drive EVs. This is due to Thailand's readiness in terms of automotive industry infrastructure and environmental systems, as well as having the highest-growing EV market in the region.