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May 31, 2023

Great Wall Motor To Assemble EV Battery Packs In Thailand

Great Wall Motor is finalizing plans to set up a new battery pack assembly plant in Thailand, where it will start making a compact EV by next year.

The Hebei-based company is also considering establishing a research and development center in Thailand that could work on battery powered pickup trucks as well.

The investment, valued at around USD 30 million, is part of Great Wall Motor’s ten similar development hubs around the world.

Thailand, the world’s tenth-largest auto manufacturing economy, aims to use tax cuts and subsidies to help convert about 30 percent of the country’s annual production of 2.5 million vehicles into EVs by 2030.

Though the compact EV is yet to be confirmed, it is most likely the GWM Ora Good Cat. Launched in Thailand in late 2021, it was the best-selling EV there last year. The cheapest variant is priced at just 828,500 Thai baht (P 1.342 million) after subsidies.

As it plans to begin local production of the Ora Good Cat in Thailand, Great Wall will look to source more components locally, including battery packs, to meet requirements under the government’s incentive program for carmakers.

SVOLT Energy Technology, a Great Wall subsidiary that has been expanding its presence in other markets like Europe, will produce battery assembly packs in Thailand in the initial phase.

But the facility could be upgraded for battery cell production with additional investment depending on demand and Thai government support. Great Wall is also not dismissing the possibility of becoming a contract manufacturer of batteries to other carmakers as well.

China’s CATL provides a 63.1-kilowatt hour battery pack for the Ora Good Cat 500 Ultra variant imported into Thailand, but Great Wall has no current plans to purchase batteries from CATL for upcoming local production.

The distributor of Great Wall Motor in the Philippines, Luxuriant Automotive, sources its products solely from mainland China. They do not currently carry any EVs, but they do carry two gasoline electric hybrid vehicles: the Haval H6 Hybrid and Haval Jolion Hybrid.

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