BYD and NETA Announce Thailand EV Factory Construction
While the penetration rate of new energy vehicles in China will undoubtedly increase in 2023, domestic manufacturers are stepping up their efforts to enter the Thai market. BYD and NETA announced the construction of factories in Thailand on March 10. Both parties stated that the factory intends to produce vehicles for Thailand, ASEAN countries, and other regions.
BYD's Thai factory is located in the WHA Industrial Park in Rayong, an eastern Thai province, and is part of a 17.9 billion baht ($491 million) electric vehicle production project. The factory covers approximately 96 hectares and is expected to produce 150,000 vehicles per year when it officially opens in 2024. It's important to note that BYD celebrated the groundbreaking of the new facility and delivered the 10,000th ATTO 3 at the same time.
BYD and its local partner, RVER, announced their entry into the Thai passenger car market in August 2022. The WHA Industrial Park agreement was signed the following September, and BYD declared that the nation would be home to its first foreign manufacturing for passenger cars. The BYD ATTO 3 (known as the Yuan EV in China) was formally launched in November, and on December 12 it sold more than 10,000 units.
NETA's new factory, located in Khan Na Yao, Bangkok, Thailand, is the company's first overseas factory to open and will have an annual production capacity of 20,000 vehicles. In addition, NETA and Bangchan General Assembly Co. Ltd, an automobile assembly company, signed a cooperation agreement under which both parties will establish a complete set of electric vehicle production processes, including factory establishment and staff skill training.
According to NETA, establishing a subsidiary in Thailand, the company's first stop on its global expansion plans, took only 15 months. The NETA V, its first model in Thailand, was ranked second on the list of pure electric models with license plates in Thailand, with the BYD ATTO 3 taking first place. The new factory ensures that NETA will deliver 10,000 units to Thai customers this year.
NETA co-founder and CEO Zhang Yong stated that the company intends to expand its operations to the Middle East and the European Union in the future. NETA delivered a total of 16,000 new cars from January to February 2023, with sales exceeding 10,000 units in February, an increase of 41.5% year on year.
Thailand's electric vehicle market is currently being dominated by manufacturers from China, Europe, Japan, and South Korea. However, Chinese electric vehicle brands have a pricing and logistics advantage, making them more appealing to Thai consumers. As a result, it is expected that the number of Chinese electric vehicles in Thailand will rapidly increase. The proportion of Chinese electric vehicle brands in Thailand's market is expected to rise from 78% in 2022 to 85% in 2023, according to KResearch.
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