Omoda & Jaecoo Thailand, a subsidiary of Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Chery Automobile, plans to build a new EV factory in Rayong, Thailand. Chery intends to use Rayong as a hub for international exports to the Middle East and Oceania.

Qi Jie, vice-managing director for South Asia at Chery International, said: “We plan to divide our manufacturing into two phases. In the first phase, which starts in 2025, annual production capacity will stand at 50,000 units. The number will increase to 80,000 units a year in 2028. Our BEVs will make up 70% of total car production, with the remaining 30% belonging in the PHEV category.” He believes Thailand has a lot of potential to grow its EV business because of the government’s EV3.5 program”.

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Thailand’s EV incentive program, known as EV3.5, consists of subsidies along with a reduction in excise taxes and import tariffs to encourage the manufacturing and purchase of electric vehicles between 2024 and 2027. The funds are required for the purchase of land, factory construction and the development of EV charging facilities.

In April, the parent company Chery is anticipated to finalise the investment details.

O&J will now import its cars from China as CBUs, with 6,000 units of the Omoda C5 EV (known as Chery Omoda E5 in Malaysia) and the Jaecoo 7 plug-in hybrid (known as Jaecoo J7, but it will launch as a pure-ICE model in Malaysia soon) expected to be sold this year. The company intends to open 35 showrooms around the Land of Smiles, 20 of which will be in Bangkok, the country’s capital.