BYD Lands In Indonesia With Big EV Factory Investment Plans

The official arrival of BYD in Indonesia comes with a local factory investment plan worth RM 6.1 billion. 

While BYD has certainly made its mark in Malaysia, this is however to be nothing compared to what the Chinese automaker has in store for our neighbours across the Malacca Strait. Such is as in spite only having just landed in Indonesia, the EV juggernaut has nevertheless already committed to investing $1.3 billion (RM 6.1 billion) into a production facility over there. 

Set to be joining Hyundai and Wuling in locally manufacturing its EVs over there, this new BYD manufacturing site in Indonesia will be its second in ASEAN after Thailand and fifth proposed outside of its home base of China thus far. The Indonesian government has further confirmed that this new billion-dollar factory will commence construction later this year, with an eventual aim to churn out 150,000 vehicles annually.  

Further details however as to where exactly this factory will be located at, or what models may be produced, is still as yet unknown thus far. Though it would go without saying that BYD will certainly be interested in tapping into Indonesia’s vast supply of lithium for its EV batteries, with the current generous incentives offered by the government for the local production of fully-electric cars to only be the cherry on what is a very lucrative cake. 

Moving away from the big news about this still-conceptual factory to the more-tangible local launch of BYD in Indonesia on the other hand, the Chinese automaker has since recently arrived over there with three of the models that currently make up the 2024 Malaysian lineup. So it in turn means for its lineup to include the Dolphin hatchback, Atto 3 e-crossover and Seal sedan. 

Much like the factory however, specific details regarding the price and specs of these Indonesian BYD models are still to be unconfirmed thus far, with company executives stating during its grand local launch over there that further details will only be revealed next month. What has been confirmed though is that the Chinese EV giant aims to open at least 50 dealerships in the country by the end of this year, which does certainly track with its aggressive expansion strategy that is to be observed in every new market it enters.  

Now just touching a little bit more on history of BYD in Indonesia meanwhile, the Chinese automaker’s local passenger car launch over there actually comes quite a ways after its electric buses. Dozens of its buses have in fact been used by the TransJakarta public bus network in the past two years, with local distributor VKTR Mobilitas having announced last year that it wanted to sell even more of these buses in Indonesia.

Rather interestingly too, there has long since been questions asked before this regarding BYD’s intentions in developing a production base in Indonesia. This is as most of its EVs are currently being powered by its lithium-iron phosphate Blade batteries, as opposed to the nickel-based ones where Indonesia will have the abundant supply for. 

Joshua Chin

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

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