Home Economy News China’s BYD acquires 20% stake in Thai dealer Rever Automotive

China’s BYD acquires 20% stake in Thai dealer Rever Automotive

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BANGKOK (Reuters) – China’s BYD (SZ:002594) will acquire a 20% stake in its local distributor Rever Automotive in Thailand, its largest market outside of China where it is an electric vehicle market leader, the companies said Saturday.

The Shenzhen-based automaker opened its first factory in Southeast Asia in Thailand this week. The $490 million factory will have an annual manufacturing capacity of 150,000 vehicles and employ 10,000 workers.

Rever Automotive, which has over 100 showrooms in Thailand, launched the sale of BYD vehicles in 2022 and BYD soon became the country’s top-selling EV brand.

“We are thrilled to deepen our partnership to accelerate the adoption of electric vehicles and contribute to Thailand’s transition towards a more sustainable future,” said Liu Xueliang, BYD’s Asia-Pacific auto sales general manager.

Thailand is a regional auto assembly and export hub, and has long been dominated by Japanese car makers such as Toyota Motor (NYSE:TM), and Honda Motor Co (NYSE:HMC) and Isuzu Motors.

In the first quarter of 2024, BYD commanded a 46% share of Thailand’s EV segment and is the third-largest player in passenger cars, according to research firm Counterpoint.

The acquisition comes as Rever faces a government investigation over steep discounts which have left some past customers feeling they overpaid for their cars.

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