Nikkei: Thailand emerging as crucial link in global EV supply chains

Nikkei: Thailand emerging as crucial link in global EV supply chains
Thailand and its nearby neighbor Indonesia are emerging as important links in the global supply chain for electric vehicles, according to Japanese business newswire Nikkei, with EV automakers from Japan, South Korea, and China revving up investment in the Kingdom.
“Automakers told us they want to have a supply chain here, and in the region,” said President Hitoshi Kawahara of Japanese plastics maker Kuraray, as he opened a $520-million factory in Thailand to make parts for electrics vehicles.
Thailand earned the nickname “the Detroit of Asia” in the 1990s and onwards because every major global automaker was producing cars in the Kingdom for export. Thailand is still the largest auto manufacturing base in Southeast Asia, but the Kingdom has been responding to changing times and technology by shifting gears towards EV production.
That means more than just assembling the vehicles. It means producing the parts and other goods and technologies to support EV production.
Among the automakers that have committed to or begun making EVs in Thailand are Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and Auto Alliance, which manufactures Ford and Mazda vehicles.
Part of what attracted them to Thailand before the advent of EVs was the Kingdom’s deep industrial base and supply chains. Thailand is striving to replicate that same model in the EV era, and it is starting to succeed.
“Producing within the region will become the norm from now on, including in Southeast Asia. Automobile-related manufacturers will need to reorganize their supply networks around EVs,” Akira Miyakoshi of the Japan External Trade Organization told Nikkei newswire.
Advanced and next-generation automobiles and technologies are priority sectors in Thailand’s national development plans, and the government has been offering generous incentives and privileges for companies investing in EV and related manufacturing in the Kingdom.
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