SHANGHAI – Vehicle price cuts initiated by Tesla in 2022 have developed into a full-blown industry pricing battle that is engulfing nearly all automakers operating in China.
The heightened competition at home is now prompting Chinese automakers to step up the search for new growth opportunities overseas.
Just this month, several domestic automakers either started constructing assembly plants outside China or disclosed intentions to do so.
BYD, China’s largest electrified-vehicle maker, broke ground on March 10 for a factory in Thailand. The plant, due to launch output sometime next year, will build up to 150,000 vehicles annually after reaching full capacity.
On the same day, Hozon New Energy Vehicle, a Chinese EV startup, started construction of a Thailand plant. Hozon expects the factory to start production in early 2024 with initial annual capacity of 20,000 vehicles.
Both companies plan to build right-hand-drive vehicles in Thailand for the local market as well as other Southeast Asia countries.