The Philippines, Vietnam and Indonesia are competing to host another Southeast Asian electric-vehicle assembly plant for BYD Co, the world’s second-largest maker of EVs, according to a Philippine trade and investment official.
BYD last year sealed a deal to establish its first Southeast Asian plant in Thailand.
The plant in Rayong is expected to start operation in 2024 and have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles, mostly for export to Southeast Asia and Europe.
The Chinese auto giant is in an “advanced stage of discussions” with the Philippines, Trade Undersecretary Ceferino Rodolfo said in an interview.
BYD representatives scoured the Philippines for possible factory sites during a visit late last year and the company may decide on the site during the second quarter, said Rodolfo, who also heads the Board of Investments.
BYD, founded in 1995 under the name Build Your Dreams, has become a behemoth in China, the world’s largest auto market, by focusing on electric vehicles.
Last year it sold 1.86 million battery-powered cars, including plug-in hybrids, which have both an electric motor and a petrol-powered engine. That topped Tesla’s sales total of 1.3 million cars in 2022, all of them battery-powered.
BYD is still exploring whether its second Asean factory will be a full-blown assembly plant or a final-assembly facility with parts shipped in from overseas, said Lanie Dormiendo, director for the Philippines’ International Investments Promotion Service.
A spokesperson for Shenzhen-based BYD said the company doesn’t have “any relevant information to disclose”.
Talks between BYD and Indonesia over a potential investment are ongoing, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be named as the discussions are private.
The Indonesian government is offering a slew of tax holidays, incentives and access to battery raw materials to convince the carmaker to set up there rather than expanding in a neighbouring country like Thailand, the person said.
Source: Bloomberg News