Chinese electric vehicle EV’s attracted great interest, driving a 45% increase in vehicle purchase bookings during the Thailand International Motor Expo, which just ended.
The popular yearly event had 53,248 total bookings for the 12-day version in 2022, up from 36,679 the previous year.
According to Kwanchai Paphatphong, head of the Motor Expo Organising Committee, the three most popular electric vehicle brands among visitors were all Chinese: Changan, BYD, and Aion.
He mentioned that 57.3% of the bookings were for SUVs, followed by 18.3% for sedans, 10.4% for hatchbacks, 9.5% for trucks, and 4.5% for others.
Up to 1.5 million people attended the event, with an additional 1.09 million viewing the webcast.
According to Mr. Kwanchai, the total worth of the vehicles purchased was 72 billion baht.
Also, the Federation of Thai Industries (FTI) has two clubs that deal with automotive and auto parts, and they’re joining forces to form FTI Future Mobility-ONE, a unit that will help the Thai car sector grow.
Auto Parts sector Club chairman Suphot Sukphisarn stated that the FTI’s goal is to modernize the car sector so it can take advantage of emerging technologies.
He stated the business is collaborating with international automakers to advance the sector. These companies include from Japan, China, Europe, and the US.
According to the FTI, by 2030, Thailand will have produced 2.5 million automobiles. Of these, 70% will be next-generation models powered by ICE technology and the other 30% will be electric vehicles that do not emit any emissions.
Mr. Suphot claimed that the auto sector is still pushing for the government to back internal combustion engine (ICE) technology and increase talks about free trade agreements with nations interested in purchasing ICE vehicles.
Chinese BYD Takes Second Place in Thailand
According to expo statistics, BYD took second place with 2,627 orders from Nov. 29 to Dec. 5, trailing Toyota’s 3,031 orders. Established Chinese brands such as SAIC’s MG and Great Wall Motors have kept their sales lead. Newcomers such as Neta, Changan, and GAC Aion also made large sales, establishing a prominent position alongside six major Chinese brands in the top ten.
With their different models, seven eye-catching Chinese EV firms stole the show at the Bangkok fair. Pawat, a 33-year-old visitor who was exploring a green BYD ATTO 3, expressed interest in switching to Chinese EVs due to their diversity and cost-effectiveness in the face of rising fuel prices.
“Chinese electric cars come in a variety of styles, are highly efficient, and have a long battery life.” They’re a realistic, cost-effective option,” said Pawat, who anticipates more Chinese EVs in Thailand.
Many Thai consumers, like Pawat, have become admirers of Chinese EVs. “After using Chinese electric cars, it appears that we will never want to go back to fuel cars,” a netizen commented in motor show reviews. Some praised Chinese electric vehicles for their unbeatable combination of environmental friendliness and superb driving experiences.
According to Ke Yubin, general manager of BYD Thailand, this year’s motor show saw an increasing presence of Chinese firms that provide Thai consumers different choices through good products at low rates. He claims that this year would see a boom in Thailand’s EV market growth.
“We are exporting our rich technical expertise and stable products after extensive testing in the domestic market.” “BYD will begin manufacturing in Thailand next year, accompanied by a dedicated research and development team to develop products tailored for the Thai market,” he stated.
“To enhance service quality, we plan to increase 4S stores offering after-sales services and spare parts across Thailand.”
Thai’s attraction of electric cars
According to Auto Life, a renowned Thai automotive media site, sales of battery electric vehicles (BEV) in Thailand increased by 497 percent to 58,074 units in the first ten months of this year, with Chinese brands dominating more than 80% of the new market.
According to Kasikorn research center, a Thai think tank, the sales volume of BEV might exceed 68,000 units by the end of 2023, boosting the market share from 1% in 2022 to 8.6% in 2024, and forecasting it to 10-12% in 2024 in the entire vehicle market.
The spike in Chinese EVs, according to Kriengsak, head of the Thai Automotive Research Institute, has boosted the attraction of electric cars and spurred the establishment of an EV industry chain in Thailand, establishing the Southeast Asian country as ASEAN’s top new energy vehicle market.
Aside from product improvements and market expansion, Chinese EV firms hope to increase Thai technical competence in the industry.
Neta Thailand’s general manager, Bao Zhuangfei, told Xinhua that the company is starting a relationship with the Thai Ministry of Education. The Chinese EV manufacturer trains Thai technical school teachers in after-sales and electrical technology.
Great Wall Motors’ brand manager for the ASEAN area, Zhang Zhen, stated that the company wants to introduce new energy pickup trucks to Thailand next year.
“While Thailand’s electric vehicle sales growth is promising, it’s still in its nascent stage compared to fuel-powered cars,” Zhang added. He sees more Chinese businesses collaborating to expand Thailand’s new energy sector, providing greater exposure for Chinese EVs to a broader consumer base.