(JW Insights) Nov 2 -- A joint venture between China's SAIC Motor and Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group has opened its first electric vehicle battery plant in Thailand, reported Yicai Global on November 1.
The THB500 million ($13.9 million) factory of the maker of MG-branded electric vehicles kicked off production on October 31, Xinhua reported. It will have an annual capacity of 50,000 batteries.
Thailand is a major car producer in Southeast Asia. The government plans to increase the share of electric vehicles to make up 30 percent of all cars produced in the country by 2030. In the first half, Chinese brands made up more than 70 percent of electric vehicle sales in Thailand, according to the Federation of Thai Industries.
The pioneering plant will reflect Thailand's potential and readiness to become a regional and global new energy vehicle production base, the permanent secretary of Thailand's Ministry of Industry said during the opening ceremony, reported Yicai Global.
The factory is designed to support car manufacturing in the SE Asian country, per Zhao Feng, general manager of SAIC Motor-CP. The facility, expected to be fully ready this year, will make novel technologies with a cell-to-pack design. The company plans to invest more in Thailand to improve the electric vehicle industry chain, Zhao added.
SAIC Motor-CP was established in February 2013. The Chinese automobile giant has 51 percent of the equity and Bangkokg-based CP owns the remainder. Since 2019, SAIC Motor-CP has sold more than 18,000 electric vehicles in Thailand, according to the Yicai Global report.
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