Changan Automobile has announced it will invest 9.8 billion baht (US$ 285 million) in Thailand, to set up its first right-hand drive electric vehicle (EV) producton base outside of China.
Chinese automaker Changan will invest $285 million or 9.8 billion baht in Thailand, with plans to invest a total of $581 million or 4 billion yuan over the next few years, according to the Thai Board of Investments and Changan Chairman Zhu Huarong.
The factory, to be located in the Eastern Economic Corridor, will begin production in 2024 with a capacity of 100,000 cars per year in the first phase, doubling to 200,000 in the second phase. The Thai plant will serve as Changan’s manufacturing hub for right-hand drive electric and hybrid vehicles and batteries, to be exported to several countries. Changan was ranked 15th in global EV sales in 2022.
The move is part of Changan Automobile’s global expansion strategy, as the company aims to become a world-class EV brand. The company has already established a presence in more than 60 countries and regions, and has sold over 10 million vehicles worldwide. In 2020, Changan Automobile ranked first in China’s EV market share, with sales of over 300,000 units.
Thailand is well-known as a major hub for conventional automaking in Southeast Asia, but it is also emerging as a leader in electric vehicle (EV) production. The country has attracted several global and regional players who are investing in EV supply chain, manufacturing and battery technology, thanks to its favorable government policies, strategic location, and skilled workforce.