BYD announces new electric car factory in Thailand

BYD this week announced plans to build a factory in Thailand that will manufacture electric cars for the Southeast Asian market. According to a report by Reuters. The company plans to build 150,000 electric passenger cars at the new Thai factory from 2024. Plans for the new factory were approved by the Thailand Board of Investment last month.

Thailand is Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy and serves as a regional automobile production and export base for many automakers, including Toyota and Honda. The government has recently started offering tax credits and subsidies to attract EV manufacturers and stimulate demand.

BYD has more than 30 factories around the world, including the United States, Japan, Canada, Brazil, Hungary and India, but they mainly focus on the production of trucks and buses. The new plant will be the first for passenger cars outside of China.

In a press briefing this week, Liu Xueliang, general manager of Asia-Pacific sales at BYD, said the Thai factory will start producing the Atto 3 battery-electric SUV. The company also plans to make batteries and other auto parts in Thailand if demand warrants. The Thai government wants electric vehicle production to reach around 700,000 by 2030, or 30% of its total car manufacturing, according to Reuters.

BYD says the Atto 3 is the first SUV built on BYD’s Electronic 3.0 platform, specifically designed for high-performance electric vehicles with four significant benefits: intelligence, efficiency, safety and aesthetics. The platform improves EV safety and battery performance, while optimizing the driving experience. It creates a new generation of smart, more efficient and safer electric vehicles. The Atto 3 uses BYD’s Blade battery technology and is already on sale in Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and India. There are also plans to export it to Europe.

BYD targets the Australian market

BYD Atto 3, image courtesy of BYD.

Reuters says BYD intends to sell 10,000 passenger cars produced at the new plant to customers in Thailand and export the rest to other markets, primarily in Southeast Asia. During this week’s press conference, Liu Xueliang said that the Atto 3 can be specially configured for the Australian market. One of Australia’s most popular vehicles, the Ford Ranger, is made in Thailand.

The conduit reports that deliveries of the Atto 3 have already started in many parts of Australia. The first cars were delivered to customers in Queensland this week. At the BYD Experience Center in South Australia, customers can see the Atto 3 up close and personal. Deliveries are expected to begin soon in that state and neighboring Victoria.

Clean Technica David Waterworth says ordering an Atto 3 in Australia is as easy as ordering takeout. Everything is done seamlessly online and the delivery wait is around 3 months at the moment. BYD is allocating 1,500 cars a month to customers in Australia, but with Anthony Albanese’s new government taking a much more favorable approach to the electric vehicle revolution than former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, orders for electric vehicles Down Under could increase considerably in the coming months.

The Atto 3 is priced at AUD44,990-47,990 (US$32,350-34,500), making it significantly more affordable than any model currently available from Tesla. Elon, please be careful.

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