Kia considers setting up electric vehicle factory in Thailand

Photo courtesy of Pattarapong Chatpattarasill

Premium Korean car manufacturer, Kia, is exploring the possibility of setting up an electric vehicle (EV) factory in Thailand, as per an announcement made by Kia Sales (Thailand). The move comes in response to the rapidly expanding EV market in the country.

If approved by Kia Corporation, the parent company which falls under the Hyundai Motor Group, Thailand would become the second Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) member to host a Kia car plant, after Malaysia, said Jun Oh Lee, Kia Sales (Thailand) President.

“We will continue to invest in EV manufacturing because we want to be a key player in EV technology development.”

Negotiations are currently ongoing between Kia Corporation and the Board of Investment on EV incentives under the EV3.5 programme. This scheme aims to bolster the growth of the EV industry in Thailand and includes provisions for subsidies, lowered import duties for fully assembled cars, and a cut in excise tax.

In the previous year, Kia revealed its intention to construct an EV factory in Thailand with an annual production capacity of 250,000 units. However, Jun refrained from disclosing any further information regarding the new investment, indicating that the parent company will announce it in due time.

On a local level, Kia Sales (Thailand) plans to open between 26 and 30 service centres this year, a significant increase from the current 19 centres. This is part of the company’s effort to better serve its local customer base, as explained by Jean-David Christian Harel, vice-president for product and marketing at Kia Sales (Thailand).

In the period between 2024 and 2026, Kia Sales (Thailand) is set to launch a range of new car models in Thailand, with a particular focus on the sport utility vehicle category. The company’s strategy is to position itself as a premium car seller with a target to secure a 20% market share in the premium car segment this year. Kia is undeterred by banks’ more stringent criteria for granting car loans, citing the financial health of its customers as a reason for optimism.

Kia’s decision to market cars in Thailand comes amidst the rapid growth of the country’s EV market and heightened competition among EV manufacturers, reported Bangkok Post.

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Alex Morgan

Alex is a 42-year-old former corporate executive and business consultant with a degree in business administration. Boasting over 15 years of experience working in various industries, including technology, finance, and marketing, Alex has acquired in-depth knowledge about business strategies, management principles, and market trends. In recent years, Alex has transitioned into writing business articles and providing expert commentary on business-related issues. Fluent in English and proficient in data analysis, Alex strives to deliver well-researched and insightful content to readers, combining practical experience with a keen analytical eye to offer valuable perspectives on the ever-evolving business landscape.

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