Motoring: Chinese EV makers take centre stage at Bangkok motor show, to unveil new models

Boosted by strong electric vehicle sales, Chinese car makers will be in the spotlight at the Bangkok International Motor Show this week, underscoring the growing challenge to Japanese auto giants that have long dominated Thailand’s vehicle market.

Chinese automakers such as Geely’s (GEELY.UL) Zeekr and Xpeng Motors are slated to unveil their latest EVs to Thai customers as they debut at the Bangkok motor show, a week-long expo that opens to public on Wednesday.

On Monday, at a media preview, the EV newcomers showcased their cars and technology at slick booths shoulder-to-shoulder with those from market leaders like Toyota Motor that are household names in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy.

Hangzhou-headquartered Zeekr will launch two EV models in Thailand in June and open 10 showrooms in the country this year, as part of a wider expansion in Southeast Asia, Vice President and Head of Emerging Market Mars Chen said.

“In the premium segment, there’s a lot of room for a new player like us,” he said.

Zeekr will compete with Chinese companies like BYD and Great Wall Motor that currently have the biggest share of Thailand’s EV market.

Guangzhou-based Xpeng, which is showcasing a flying drone car at its booth, plans to open five showrooms in Thailand this year to offer higher-end EVs, said Elsa Zhang, senior manager for its overseas business.

Others like Changan Automobile, a state-owned carmaker that will start producing EVs at a Thai facility in early 2025, are targeting the lower end of the market, with a two-door EV priced at around 500,000 baht ($13,728) that was launched on Monday.


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