SAIC Opens First EV Battery Plant in Thailand

Chinese automotive giant SAIC Motor has announced the opening of its first electric vehicle (EV) battery plant in Thailand, as the first deeply localized battery rolled off the assembly line in the factory. The construction of this plant reportedly started in May earlier this year.

The EV battery plant, spanning 12 hectares, is located in New Energy Industrial Park, Chonburi province’s Eastern Economic Corridor Special Zone. With a production capacity of 50,000 units per year, the EV battery plant is divided into two main areas— the first being the fully automated battery assembly area, and the second zone is designated for battery standard testing, which involves over 60 processes.

saic battery thai

Zhao Feng, president of SAIC Motor-CP, a joint venture between SAIC Motor Corp and Charoen Pokphand Group, said they invested 500 million baht (around $13.9 million) in the EV battery plant, and the plant showcases the company’s vision as a pioneer and leader in electric vehicles in Thailand. SAIC’s MG brand, which entered the Thai EV market in 2019, has become among the most popular brands in Thailand with more than 18,000 units sold so far in the country, Zhao said.

Related: Chinese EV Makers Heavily Investing in Thailand

Thailand has long been a major automobile production base in Southeast Asia due to its industrial chain and geographical advantages. Under the government’s investment promotion, the country aims to produce EVs for 30% of all vehicles in the country by 2030. As the first EV battery factory launched in the country, this will reflect Thailand’s potential and readiness to become a regional and global EV production base, said Nattapol Rangsitpol, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Industry.

MG4 thai 1b

Recently, another Chinese carmaker Changan signed a land purchase agreement with Thailand’s industrial estate developer WHA Group to build a new EV factory, with an initial capacity of 100,000 units per year. According to the Federation of Thai Industries, in the first half of 2023, Chinese brands accounted for over 70% of Thailand’s EV sales.

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