Chinese new energy vehicle companies make efforts in the Southeast Asian market

Seetao 2022-02-28 10:38
  • According to the International Renewable Energy Agency, sales of new energy vehicles in Southeast Asia will increase 10 million by 2025
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19 Minutes

With its clean white body and sky blue logo, the BYD electric taxis driving on the roads in Thailand are very harmonious with the surrounding green natural environment. Departing from Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Chaiwa, a local, took a BYD electric taxi. "The interior of the car is quiet, the view is good, and more importantly, it is environmentally friendly."

Four years ago, with the approval of the Land Transport Department of Thailand, 101 BYD electric vehicles were operated locally for the first time as taxis and online car-hailing vehicles. The vehicles take two hours to charge and have a range of 400 kilometers. "This is an important step for Thailand to move towards electric travel," said Shani, then director of Thailand's Land Transport Department.

Thailand is the largest automobile producer in Southeast Asia, and has the advantages of a complete industrial chain, large market potential, and a wide range of radiation. According to data from the Automobile Association of Thailand, Chinese brand vehicles account for more than 90% of the total sales of pure electric vehicles in Thailand.

At the Thailand International Motor Show held in December last year, the two electric car brands Great Wall and SAIC became the highlights, and many Thai people rushed to test drive. At present, the three new energy vehicles of Great Wall Motors have entered more than 5,000 Thai households. Zhang Jiaming, President of Great Wall Motor's ASEAN region, said: "Thailand is one of the most important automotive markets in the ASEAN region, and its new energy and smart car industry has entered a stage of rapid development." Full-cycle service, Great Wall Motors is constantly improving its localized development layout in the Thai market. At present, in the ASEAN region, Great Wall Motors has been operating in Thailand, Brunei, Laos, and Myanmar. In 2022, it will officially start normal operations in Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, Singapore and other markets.

In 2021, the Chinese car brand Nezha released a right-hand drive model for overseas markets, and officially announced that it would "go overseas" to Thailand to explore the ASEAN new energy vehicle market. Zhang Yong, co-founder and CEO of Nezha Automobile, said that the company will focus on Thailand and radiate the entire ASEAN new energy vehicle market to provide travel services for local people.

ASEAN countries launch more favorable measures

In recent years, ASEAN countries have introduced a series of supporting measures and strategic plans for the development of new energy vehicles, creating conditions for Chinese and other foreign companies to explore local markets. The Thai government has set a target of producing at least 30% of the country’s car production by 2030; the Malaysian government has announced tax incentives for electric vehicles from fiscal year 2022; the Philippine government has abolished import duties on all components of electric vehicles; The number of electric vehicle charging points will be increased from 28,000 to 60,000 per year.

"ASEAN countries are increasingly attaching importance to the development of new energy vehicles. China has advanced technology and a perfect industrial chain in this field. More and more Chinese new energy vehicle companies have entered the ASEAN market, which will provide the local area with more diverse and high-tech auto brands. Choice." said Britcha, vice-chairman of the Federation of Thai Industries.

In July 2021, the Indonesian government released a roadmap for the production of electric vehicles, and plans to achieve the goals of producing 400,000, 600,000 and 1 million electric vehicles in 2025, 2030 and 2035, respectively. Chinese electric car maker WM Motor plans to build an assembly plant in Indonesia this year. Chery Automobile plans to launch SUV models and new energy vehicles in Indonesia. SAIC-GM-Wuling Motor and Dongfeng Xiaokang also plan to produce mini electric vehicles in Indonesia. Luhut, the coordinator of Indonesia's cooperation with China and the Minister of Coordination Department, visited SAIC-GM-Wuling's Indonesian plant last year to test-drive the Wuling Hongguang mini electric car, hoping that this model will be launched in Indonesia as soon as possible.

In January 2021, Malaysia's Fieldman Corporation and Changan Automobile invested 1 billion ringgit (about 240 million US dollars) to set up an electric vehicle assembly plant in the state of Malacca. Suleiman, Chief Minister of Malacca State, said that the project will create 5,000 jobs, drive the downstream industries of the automobile industry, and promote local economic development.

"The deepening of cooperation between ASEAN countries and Chinese auto companies will help enhance the independent development capability of ASEAN countries' new energy vehicle industry and promote green and sustainable economic development." Blich said.

RCEP brings new opportunities for cooperation

In January 2022, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) came into force. One of the most important breakthroughs of the RCEP is the adoption of the Cumulative Rule of Origin. According to this rule, as long as the value-added part of the product in the process of processing belongs to 15 member states, and the cumulative value-added exceeds 40%, it can enjoy the corresponding tariff preference. "This rule will effectively promote the minimization of production costs and the optimization of trade efficiency in the region, and is conducive to strengthening the cooperation of industrial chains and supply chains in the region." Gao Feng, a spokesman for the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, said.

Huang Yonghe, an expert from China Automotive Technology and Research Center, said that RCEP's rules of origin accumulation are conducive to promoting multilateral trade and strengthening the supply chain advantages of the automotive industry chain in the Asia-Pacific region. Chinese automakers "should seize the opportunity of RCEP implementation, make full use of tax and preferential conditions, grasp the characteristics of the ASEAN market, and launch products with differentiated advantages, and new energy vehicle products are one of the priorities."

"We are accelerating the development of the ASEAN market and plan to set up a production base in ASEAN." The head of GAC Group's international business said that the group is currently exploring joint investment and production with ASEAN manufacturing companies to drive the development of the local auto industry. In Myanmar, GAC's partners are building parts assembly plants; in Malaysia, the right-hand drive version of the GS3 was officially launched, opening a new journey in the overseas right-hand drive market. In the opinion of the person in charge of GAC International Business, the entry into force of RCEP will not only promote the international layout of Chinese car companies' brands, promote the growth of export business, but also promote the circulation of regional parts and components and increase the dependence of the automotive industry chain in the RCEP region.

Hu Yishan, chief consultant of the Malaysian Pacific Research Center, said that China's new energy vehicle technologies such as batteries, components and operating systems are leading the world, and are well received by customers around the world for their excellent stability. "China and ASEAN have incorporated new business forms brought about by a new round of industrial revolution into their bilateral cooperation, which will enable new technologies and new industries to better benefit both parties. The two sides will jointly develop the new energy vehicle industry, promote regional energy transformation, and strengthen renewable energy technologies. Sharing will provide support for the low-carbon sustainable development of the region." Keywords: One Belt One Road, One Belt One Road News, One Belt One Road Project

"More and more Chinese new energy vehicle companies have entered the ASEAN market for cooperation. Related production and research and development will provide strong technical support for countries and promote the digital, intelligent and green development of the local new energy vehicle industry." Former Chief Energy Officer of the Asian Development Bank Expert Zhai Yongping believes that Chinese auto companies share more successful models and experiences of market expansion and industrial development with Southeast Asia, which will help these countries to exert their comparative advantages and establish and improve a series of new products ranging from accessories, assembly, production to sales services. The energy vehicle industry chain promotes the complementary advantages and common development of China and ASEAN industries.Editor/XuNing