China’s Changan to invest B9.8bn in Thai EV plant

BoI says plant with annual capacity of 100,000 units will be ‘significant milestone’

Visitors check out a Changan Lumin at the Auto Shanghai show on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)
Visitors check out a Changan Lumin at the Auto Shanghai show on Wednesday. (Photo: Reuters)

The Chinese automaker Changan Auto will invest 9.8 billion baht in a facility in Thailand to produce 100,000 electric vehicles annually, the Board of Investment (BoI) said on Thursday.

The company aims to market its EVs in Thailand, Southeast Asia and Australia, said BoI secretary-general Narit Therdsteerasukdi.

Thailand is Asia’s fourth-largest automobile assembly and export hub for carmakers like Toyota and Honda. The industry accounts for about 10% of the country’s GDP and manufacturing jobs.

“Changan’s decision to invest in Thailand is a significant milestone in promoting the country as the world’s major EV production base,” said Mr Narit.

Other Chinese EV makers including market leader BYD have also invested in Thai plants as demand heats up among domestic consumers choosing from brands like Great Wall Motors and Tesla.

Chongqing-based Changan plans to make electric vehicles in three categories — battery EV, plug-in hybrid EV, and range extended EV, also known as REEV — as well as batteries for domestic sale and export, said Mr Narit.

Changan Automobile is among the top 20 listed companies in China and ranked 17th in the world by vehicle production, according to its website.

Many foreign investors are interested in venturing into the EV business, which is among the targeted industries promoted by the government.

The BoI has so far approved 26 EV investment project proposals, valued at 86.8 billion baht, from 17 companies.