Hozon, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker, is expanding its presence in Southeast Asia by setting up a production plant in Thailand.

The company, which is backed by CATL, the world’s largest EV battery maker, has partnered with a local auto assembly firm to produce its NETA V model starting from next year. The plant will have an annual capacity of 20,000 vehicles and will cater to both the domestic and regional markets.

Hozon entered the Thai market last year with the launch of its NETA V city car, which is priced from 549,000 baht ($16,500). The company plans to introduce more models in the future, as well as explore opportunities in the Middle East and Europe. Hozon aims to sell 10,000 vehicles in Thailand as part of its goal of selling 300,000 vehicles globally this year.

Chinese carmaker Hozon to set up EVs production plant in Thailand
Chinese carmaker Hozon to set up EVs production plant in Thailand

Thailand is Southeast Asia’s largest market for passenger EVs and has a comprehensive supply chain that supports many auto manufacturers. The country has also offered various incentives for EV makers and buyers, such as cash subsidies, tax exemptions, and infrastructure development. The government has set a target of having 30% of car sales to be electric by 2030, as part of its commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 and net zero emissions by 2065.

According to government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri, EV registrations in March rose to 8,522, almost double January’s figure of 4,543. Most of the EVs registered in March were cars with less than seven seats (6,205 units), followed by motorbikes (2,263 units).

Earlier in April 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) production base outside of China.

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. 

While Japanese, Chinese, and Korean (RoK) firms scramble to get in at the outset of EV production in the region, Indonesia and Thailand have emerged as two of the most popular Asian locations for investment in parts and materials for EVs, according to Nikkei Asia, a news agency in Japan.

BYD intends to open a plant with a 150,000-vehicle production capacity the following year. Great Wall Motor, which is currently selling in Thailand, and MG Motor, which is owned by SAIC Motor, also intend to begin manufacturing there.

Thailand targets to transform into an EV hub, with electric vehicles making up 30% of the total autos produced by 2030 and sales of combustion-engine vehicles phased out completely by 2035.

About the author

Bangkok Correspondent at Siam News Network

Bangkok Correspondent for Siam News Network. Editor at Thailand Business News

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