Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker BYD announced today that it would be setting up a new production facility in Thailand, with a goal to produce 150,000 vehicles per year, earmarked for the right-hand drive markets within ASEAN region as well as Europe, starting 2024.
In a joint statement with its Thai industrial partner, WHA Group, the Chinese EV maker announced that a purchase agreement for 96 hectares (237 acres) of land at the Rayong 36 Industrial Estate has already been signed. BYD is planning a total investment of THB17.9 billion baht (approx RM 2.2 billion), with the project already approved by Thailand’s Board of Investment last month.
BYD officially entered Thailand in August this year, with the appointment of Rêver Automotive Company Limited as the sole distributor in the nation. The company intends to sell over 10,000 EVs in its first year of operations.
The new overseas production facility in Thailand, its latest among more than 30 other in the United States, Brazil, and India, is a significant advancement in the company’s expansion, says BYD Asia-Pacific Auto Sales Division General Manager, Liu Xue Liang.
“Following a thorough search and screening process, Thailand and WHA Rayong 36 Industrial Estate emerged as the ideal choice due to their geographical position and reputation as a leading industrial estate player in the region,” Liu added.
This land purchase deal between BYD and WHA Group also represents a significant step towards Thailand’s vision to become Southeast Asia’s hub for electric Vehicles (EVs). The country’s Board of Investment has already approved 26 EV projects from 17 companies to date, representing a total production capacity of 830,000 EVs.
By early 2023, the country expects to reach its overall production target of one million EV units. Come 2030, forecasts predict EVs to represent 30% of Thailand’s total car production, or roughly 700,000 EVs per year.