BYD's first factory outside China officially started operations on Wednesday at the WHA Industrial Estate in Rayong, with the potential to create 10,000 jobs. The factory has a maximum production capacity of 150,000 cars per year, with a total investment of over 35 billion baht. After BYD, known for its automobile and technology products, entered the Thai market, it began with the introduction of its first electric vehicle (EV) model, the Atto 3. The distributor for this model in Thailand is Rêver Automotive, managed by Pratarnwong and Pratarnporn Phornprapha. Simultaneously, BYD in China sought investment promotion privileges from the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI). It took 16 months to construct the factory at the WHA Industrial Estate in Rayong, and the first model to roll off the production line is the BYD Dolphin. This factory will produce BYD's 8-millionth car, which will be donated to the Mae Fah Luang Foundation under Royal Patronage. The BYD factory in Rayong covers an area of over 948,000 square metres and includes four production stages: forging, welding, painting and assembly The Rayong plant has a maximum annual production capacity of 150,000 units, including models such as the Dolphin, Atto 3, Seal, and Sealion 6.  The factory also has the capability to produce key components such as batteries and power transmission systems. In addition to serving the Thai market, the factory will act as a production base for right-hand drive vehicles for export to various ASEAN countries. BYD has applied for investment promotion privileges from BOI for a total of nine projects with a combined investment value of over 35 billion baht. Liu Xueliang, general manager of sales for the Asia-Pacific region at BYD Auto Industry Co Ltd, said that the opening of BYD’s new electric vehicle factory in Thailand is a significant step, demonstrating the company’s commitment to Thai customers while continuing to pursue global goals. Pratarnwong Phornprapha, the CEO of Rêver Group, mentioned that in 2023, global sales of electric vehicles, including plug-in hybrids, reached approximately 14.2 million units. Meanwhile, in Thailand, the electric vehicle market is expected to continue growing steadily. The opening of BYD’s new automobile factory in Thailand will support Rêver’s strategic vision of "New Future, Your Way", aiming to position Thailand as a “New Energy Vehicle” nation and achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2068. This will help transition Thailand to a sustainable future while driving economic growth for the country, Pratarnwong said.

Asia News Network (ANN)/The Nation (Thailand)