BEIJING — Chinese electric car and battery giant BYD is planning to open its first wholly invested passenger car factory outside China — in Thailand.
BYD signed a contract to buy land and build a factory for new energy passenger cars in an industrial park run by local giant WHA Group, according to press releases. The companies did not disclose an investment amount. New energy includes pure battery and hybrid power.
The news comes as BYD is expanding quickly into other countries. Notably, the company plans to enter the passenger car market in Japan — home to auto giant Toyota — by selling three electric car models to local customers next year. BYD said it announced in early August its official entry into Thailand’s passenger car market.
The company said the new factory is set to begin operations in 2024, building cars for the local market and for export to countries such as those in Southeast Asia. The cars will also be exported to Europe, WHA said.
When the factory opens, annual production capacity will be about 150,000 vehicles, both companies said. WHA noted that by 2030, electric vehicles are expected to account for 30% of Thailand’s total car production — or 700,000 such cars a year.