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Saturday, June 22, 2024

Thailand, a regional manufacturing base for electric vehicles

The government has indicated its intentions to position Thailand as a regional manufacturing base for electric vehicles (EVs), with tax cuts and other measures rolling out to attract more investments.

Government Spokesman Thanakorn Wangboonkongchana said Prime Minister Gen Prayut Chan-o-cha had asked related agencies to monitor customer trends at the Bangkok International Motor Show, following the government’s rollout of measures to encourage the use of EVs.

The theme of the 43rd Bangkok International Motor Show 2022 is Keep Moving Forward Together. 

The event is open to the public from March 23 to April 3, daily from noon to 10 pm. 

Visitors to the auto show have shown a keen interest in EVs, due to the subsidy program offered by the government. Under the scheme, the purchase of an EV with a participating brand can receive a subsidy of 70,000 to 150,000 baht. The subsidy is being funded by the Excise Department, with a total campaign budget of 3 billion baht.

The department says it is open to discussing pricing structures with any of the auto brands.

Major EV brands at Bangkok International Motor Show that are participating in the subsidy scheme include Great Wall Motor and MG.

Chinese carmaker Great Wall Motor has signed an agreement with the Thai government to cut the retail price of its electric vehicles. A move aimed at increasing domestic EV sales and production.

According to Michael Chong, General Manager of Great Wall Motor Thailand, the agreement, which includes a government subsidy and a reduction in value-added tax, could save customers up to 160,000 baht (US$4,779) per unit.

Other companies that have expressed their intention to join the scheme include European carmakers such as Mercedes-Benz and BMW, Japanese brands such as Toyota, Honda, Mitsubishi and Nissan, and Chinese companies like Foxconn and NETA Auto.

The Bangkok International Motor Show 2022 is currently taking place at IMPACT Muang Thong Thani exhibition centre in Nonthaburi and will conclude on April 3.

According to Michael Chong, General Manager of Great Wall Motor Thailand, Chong said other factors such as rising energy prices are also driving EV demand, which continues to grow significantly in many countries.

“Oil prices continue to rise, so people who buy ICE (internal combustible engine) will find it more expensive,” said Chong. He also added that EVs will help to make the air cleaner. This is something Bangkok, the capital of Thailand, has been fighting for.

Mirko Bennardo
Author: Mirko Bennardo

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