Great Wall, SAIC Motor tap into Thailand EV boost from government incentives

Chinese automaker Great Wall Motor has signed an agreement with Thailand government with an aim to boost domestic EV sales and production. With the incentives being provided with the country, the carmaker will be able to slash retail prices of its electric vehicles, an executive told Reuters.

File photo of an electric vehicle being charged. Image used for representational purpose. (AFP)
File photo of an electric vehicle being charged. Image used for representational purpose.

The agreement involves a government subsidy and reduction in value-added tax, which could save customers up to 160,000 baht ($4,779) per unit, Michael Chong, General Manager of Great Wall Motor Thailand said. This incentive would apply to vehicles typically priced 1 million baht, translating to a saving of about 13-15%. "This is very beneficial for our customer... because this price is more affordable," he said at the annual Bangkok International Motor Show.

Also Read : Great Wall Motor to invest $1.9 billion in Brazil over next decade

Chong said factors like rising energy prices have also been driving EV demand."Oil prices keep increasing, so people who buy internal combustible engine vehicles (ICE) will feel it's more expensive," he said, adding that EVs would help make air cleaner. This is especially important as Thailand's capital has struggled with this issue for a long time.

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Thailand is trying to incentivise use of electric vehicles with the government targeting production of 725,000 EV units a year, or 30% of output by 2030. A similar agreement has also been signed with rival automaker, SAIC-CP Motor, the Thai unit of SAIC Motor Corp, as per the finance ministry.

In 2020, Great Wall Motor took over the General Motors plant in Thailand, which is Asia's fourth-largest auto assembly and export hub. Auto manufacturing in the country accounts for about 10% of Thai gross domestic product and manufacturing jobs.

This year, the company plans to sell 20,000 units in Thailand between its two brands, the BEV Ora Good Cat and Haval SUVs. It also plans to locally produce EVs in 2024. However, with less than 4,000 fully-electric vehicles registered in Thailand last year, the transition to EVs will take some time.

(with inputs from Reuters)

First Published Date: 23 Mar 2022, 10:50 AM IST
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