BYD’s New Thai Plant Opening Marred By Price Cut Backlash

This Thai plant is slated to be capable of churning out 150,000 BYDs every year when fully operational. 

While it may only have been a little over four months since it first broke ground, BYD is nevertheless already scheduled to soon officiate the opening its new production facility in Thailand. This new factory in Rayong Province is to be the Chinese automaker’s first-ever in South East Asia, with it supposedly capable of churning out 150,000 cars annually once fully operational by Q3 2024. 

BYD has proudly touted that it has planned to invest around $490 million (RM 2.31 billion) into the facility, and the cars being produced from it will aim to satisfy the growing local market for its EVs. The Chinese automaker has yet to officially confirm which models exactly it will be producing in its new Thai plant, but prior reports suggest that its Atto 3 e-crossover will be among the cars to be made over there. 

Thailand is presently the largest overseas market for the world’s biggest EV manufacturer, with the 20,000 Atto 3s sold seeing for this particular e-crossover becoming the most popular all-electric car in the land of smiles. BYD has commanded a whopping 46% share of the EV market in the first quarter of this year over there, and is currently the third-largest player in overall passenger car sales in the country with a 9% share.

Incidentally, this upcoming opening of its Thai factory coincides with BYD celebrating the roll out of its 8 millionth new energy vehicle (NEV) on July 4th. And this feat is to be made all the more impressive after knowing that the Chinese automaker celebrated its 7 millionth unit produced just less than four months ago, on March 25th. 

The celebrations in Thailand will likely be slightly more subdued that initially planned however. Such is as local authorities over there have just opened a probe investigating BYD’s dealers, after a consumer complaint over aggressive discounting has left some buyers upset with how much they paid for their cars.

According to statement released by the government regarding this matter, this probe was triggered after a BYD customer alleged that a sales representative had asserted the customer’s car’s price would rise after a discounting campaign ended. The dealership had instead later aggressively cut the price further after the promotion.

“We have called the dealers to come in this week to clarify why they cut prices further and how they plan to find a solution for customers,” said Passakorn Thapmongkol, a senior official at the Consumer Protection Board.

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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