SVOLT, a prominent Chinese battery manufacturer, has taken a significant step towards expanding its presence in Southeast Asia with a groundbreaking ceremony held on Wednesday. The company is venturing into this region to capitalize on the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) market. The groundbreaking ceremony marked the initiation of SVOLT’s first-ever plant in Southeast Asia, strategically located in Chonburi province, eastern Thailand.
The module pack factory, scheduled for completion in early 2024, aims to manufacture an impressive 60,000 sets of module packs annually. SVOLT’s entry into Southeast Asia is in line with the trend observed among Chinese EV companies, such as GWM, SAIC, and BYD, who have been establishing localized production facilities in Thailand. This move is a direct response to the remarkable growth and potential of the EV market in the region.
One key factor driving the influx of Chinese companies into Thailand is the supportive policies implemented by the Thai government. In an ambitious bid to transform the automotive industry, the Thai government aims to have electric cars account for 30 percent of all vehicles manufactured in the country by 2030. To foster competitiveness among Southeast Asian nations, Thailand has implemented policies that encourage investments across the entire electric vehicle industry chain.
As SVOLT’s module pack factory takes shape, the company plans to gradually expand its operations in energy storage and recycling. Furthermore, SVOLT aims to establish a localized and efficient cell supply through battery recycling. Yang Hongxin, Chairman and CEO of SVOLT, emphasized the pivotal role of Thailand as a regional hub for automotive manufacturing and exports. He expressed enthusiasm about the excellent opportunities for overseas expansion and business growth that Thailand offers to SVOLT.
“We will initially focus on meeting the market demand for passenger cars and gradually expand our business into the energy storage and recycling markets as well,” said Yang.
According to the Bangkok-based think tank Kasikorn Research Center, the total sales of battery EV vehicles in Thailand are expected to witness a remarkable surge in the near future. The center projects that sales will reach 50,000 units in 2023, reflecting a staggering year-on-year increase of 271.6 percent compared to the 13,454 units sold in 2022.
Wisanu Tabtieng, Chief Inspectors General of the Thai Ministry of Industry, acknowledged Thailand’s eagerness to attract Chinese companies and transform itself into a base for ASEAN production in the next-generation automotive industry.
SVOLT’s entry into the Southeast Asian market demonstrates the company’s commitment to capitalizing on the region’s growing demand for electric vehicles. By establishing a localized production facility in Thailand, SVOLT aims to meet market demands while strategically positioning itself for future growth in the energy storage and recycling sectors. As the Thai government’s supportive policies continue to encourage investments throughout the electric vehicle industry chain, it is expected that more companies will follow suit, further strengthening Thailand’s position as a prominent player in the rapidly evolving EV market.