BMW Thailand in talks with parent company to make EVs at Rayong plant
BMW Thailand is holding talks with its parent company in Germany to manufacture electric vehicles (EVs) at its Rayong factory so that BMW EVs can tap the subsidy and excise reduction package offered by the government, a source said.
Currently, BMW Thailand is selling some EV models imported from Germany and China.
To be eligible for subsidy and import excise relief that could translate into price reduction, BMW Thailand would have to sign a contract with the government that it would make EVs locally in place of the imported ones.
The source, who is a senior executive of BMW Thailand, said his company is still in talks with the parent firm about making EVs at the BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand factory in Rayong.
If the BMW factory also makes EVs, the company will also be eligible for tax privileges from the Board of Investment (BOI), the source added.
The BOI has allowed vehicle manufacturers to apply for tax privileges as EV-makers in 2018. The BOI has said the tax privilege package for EV-makers can still be applied for.
The BOI has announced that a manufacturer will be exempted from corporate tax for eight years if it invests at least Bt5 billion for making electric cars, motorcycles, tricycles, trucks and boats.
If the investment value is less than Bt5 billion, the manufacturer will be exempted from corporate tax for three years.
In 2021, the BMW factory in Rayong manufactured 33,428 vehicles and motorcycles, up 3 per cent from 2020.
The source said that BMW Thailand might be able to start making EVs in 2023.
BMW has 31 factories in 15 countries and the Rayong factory has been operating for 20 years.
The parent company of BMW announced its plan to make EVs in all of its segments, including X3 series, Series 5, 7 and X1. The company also announced it would make about 10 models of EVs in two years.
As a result, the source sees the chance of having the Rayong factory make some models because the factories in Germany and China might not have enough facilities to meet the master plan.