BYD is the latest Chinese automaker to announce a car factory for Thailand.

    It plans to start operations there in 2024, with annual production of 150,000 electric vehicles for Thailand, neighbouring southeast Asian countries and other regions such as Europe.

    Reuters reports the factory will produce the electric Atto 3 SUV.

    The company has also officially launched in Thailand this year, and is also expanding to markets like Brazil, Europe and Japan.

    The 17.9 billion baht (A$722.82 million) facility, being developed with Thai firm WHA Group, will be situated on 237 acres of land in the eastern province of Rayong.

    It has been approved by Thailand’s Board of Investment. Thailand wants local annual EV production to reach 700,000 vehicles by 2030, which would represent around 30 per cent of its total automotive production.

    To that end, it has been offering tax breaks and subsidies to EV manufacturers.

    Thailand is the largest automotive market and largest manufacturer of automobiles in southeast Asia, and the likes of Ford, Isuzu, Mitsubishi and Toyota all manufacture vehicles there.

    BYD joins SAIC Motor, owner of the MG and LDV brands, and Great Wall Motor in establishing a manufacturing presence in Thailand.

    The latter bought its Rayong plant from General Motors, which used to build the Chevrolet/Holden Colorado and TrailBlazer there.

    While none of these companies have exported Thai-built vehicles to Australia yet, the MG 5 sedan is expected to be the first Thai-sourced SAIC Motor product to be sold in Australia.

    BYD this month commenced deliveries of the Atto 3 in Australia, and has been busy establishing a network of sales and service centres nationwide with Eagers Automotive.

    It’ll expand its model range with the small Dolphin hatchback and mid-sized Seal sedan, for which deliveries will begin in 2023.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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