Chinese automotive manufacturer BYD has opened an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing plant in Thailand, its first in Southeast Asia.

The $490m factory is located in Thailand’s eastern Rayong province and, according to BYD chairman Wang Chuanfu who was speaking at the opening ceremony: “has an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles, including four major processes of vehicle and parts production. It will create about 10,000 jobs”.

Wang said the factory will initially produce battery electric vehicles before also moving into plug-in hybrids. It will supply the Thai market as well as others in the region.

Narit Therdsteerasukdi, Secretary General of Thailand’s Board of Investment, said: “BYD is using Thailand as a production hub for export to ASEAN [the Association of Southeast Asian Nations bloc] and many other countries.”

Of activities at the plant, Liu Xueliang, BYD’s Asia Pacific general manager, added: “We will also assemble batteries and other important parts here.”

BYD officially entered Thailand in 2022 and has since established a network of 60 sales outlets. It is currently the largest supplier of BEVs to the country, where sales expanded 32% to 43,921 mostly imported vehicles in the first five months of 2024, according to industry data.

By 2030, Thailand aims to convert 30% of its annual production of 2.5 million vehicles into EVs, according to a government plan.

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