Thailand’s electric vehicle (EV) market is in a ‘creation’ phase with limited products and market players. Hence, global OEMs are increasingly focusing on the country’s early growth phase. Against this backdrop, China’s Great Wall Motors (GWM) is one of the recent entrants in the Thailand’s battery EV market. It entered the market last year through the acquisition of GM’s plant. The company aims to be a frontrunner in the domestic EV race with the launch of low-priced EV models.
“Focus on affordability in GWM’s growth strategy seems to be completely justified in markets such as Thailand, which is price-sensitive and needs a major push for transition from ICE vehicles. The strategic priority set by GWM, which includes launch of more affordable EV models in Thailand, is set to supplement the company’s competitive position in the EV market. However, there is an equal focus required on setting up the charging infrastructure, which presently is small.
“GWM’s growth strategy will also supplement Thai government’s vision of 50% electrification of all new cars by 2035 and also its plan of making Thailand an EV production hub by the same year. Presently, BEV sales are very limited in Thailand. The conducive regulatory environment in Thailand has brought many OEMs to focus on EVs such as Foxconn/PTT, Energy Absolute, Honda, BMW, VW, Nissan and others. However, Chinese OEMs are better positioned due to the ASEAN-China free-trade agreement, which allows the import of EVs at zero tariff.
“Additionally, Chinese automakers have an upper hand in the Thai EV market due to their capabilities/expertise to manufacture mass market EVs. Some Chinese OEMs offering their BEVs in Thailand include BYD Auto, Geely, GWM and SAIC Group (through MG Motors). According to GlobalData, these automakers collectively hold 88% of BEV sales, however the denominator is quite miniscule when compared to overall sales in the country.
Credits: Bakar Sadik Agwan, Senior Automotive Consulting Analyst at GlobalData
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