Great Wall Motors (GWM), a giant automobile manufacturer of China, will start its production in Thailand next year with a capacity of 80,000 units a year, Industry Minister Suriya Jungrungreangkit said.
After his meeting with Zhang Jiaming, president of GWM’s ASEAN operations, Mr Suriya said GWM would improve the production lines that it had taken over within the fourth quarter of this year for the production of vehicles with internal combustion engines and electric vehicles.
According to the minister, the company will have an annual production capacity of 80,000 vehicles and will begin with producing sports utility vehicles and pickup trucks. The company plans to invest 22.6 billion baht and employ 3,435 people.
It also plans to manufacture key parts including batteries and transmissions for its electric vehicles. Local content will form 45% of parts for its first model to be produced in Thailand and the proportion will rise to 90% within 2025.
Besides, the company will set up its research and development center that will cover its operations in Southeast Asia.
Mr Suriya said he and Mr Zhang discussed promotional privileges, measures to promote electric vehicles and the disposal of used cars and batteries.
At present, Thailand had the production capacity of 2 million automobiles annually, half of them for export and the rest for local buyers.
GWM’s investment would highly benefit local buyers because they would have more choices and local parts could serve its production, Mr Suriya said. (TNA)