Report: More and more motorists are now buying Chinese EVs in Thailand

Does this mean we might see the arrival of more Chinese EVs in our market soon?
by Leandre Grecia | Jul 8, 2022
photo of the Ora Good Cat at the Bangkok International Motor Show
PHOTO: Shutterstock
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The Philippines has seen the arrival of several new Chinese cars and brands over the past several years, and we won’t be surprised if those new arrivals start to shift to electric soon. You see, these carmakers from the People’s Republic are starting to gain an even stronger foothold in the EV market in the region.

According to a report by Nikkei Asia, Chinese automakers are beginning to “dominate” the EV landscape in Thailand. And as we all know, a good chunk of locally available vehicles are shipped from that side of the globe.

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Nikkei reports that Great Wall Motor has now become the most popular EV brand in Thailand, having sold more than 2,000 cars already since its arrival in that market last year. The publication also mentioned that 3,000 people are now waiting to take delivery of Great Wall EVs. What’s more, the Chinese marque was also able to sell out all 500 units of the limited-edition Ora Good Cat EV that was recently launched in Thailand.

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SAIC Motor, the company that owns the MG brand, also sold 4,500 EVs in the Land of Smiles in 2021, and analysts expects this figure to grow even bigger this year.

photo of the Ora Good Cat, one of the popular electric vehicles in Thailand

Chinese brands have successfully capitalized on the booming EV market in Thailand also thanks in part to the ASEAN-China free trade pact that allows tariff-free shipping of EVs from China. Japanese and European brands, meanwhile, have not been as aggressive in their attempts to penetrate the electric segment in Thailand.

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As China’s market share in Thailand grows, the government now further emphasizes the urgency of manufacturing EVs locally. Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha reportedly said that companies should ride the momentum and look to begin production as early as 2023 instead of the previous target of 2024.

Does this mean we’ll be seeing more of these EVs in the Philippines soon? Only time will tell. What we know for now is that having EVs produced in Thailand should bode well for the local automotive industry’s electrification efforts.

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PHOTO: Shutterstock
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