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Flash in a pan, or here for the long run? This list shows which Chinese brands have plants in South East Asia

Sanjay ยท Apr 27, 2024 07:52 AM

Flash in a pan, or here for the long run? This list shows which Chinese brands have plants in South East Asia 01

The deluge of Chinese automakers worldwide has shaken up the global car industry in more ways than one, and other than serving up more options for buyers, most of them have been setting up plants outside of China to keep up with demand.

More so in relatively price-sensitive South East Asia, where carmakers have to contend with policies that further solidify the case for local plants. To that end, many major carmakers have started making โ€“ or at the very least, announced plans โ€“ for facilities in our part of the world.

Here's an overview of 'who's where', and what to expect going forward:

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BYD

BYD's early start here has seen them gain a strong footing in ASEAN countries, notably in Thailand and in Malaysia. Their first plant in South East Asia is in Rayong, Thailand, and it has commenced trial production of the Atto 3

Flash in a pan, or here for the long run? This list shows which Chinese brands have plants in South East Asia 01

Source: Weibo

In Malaysia, the BYD Atto 3, Dolphin, and Seal are all imported (CBU) from China, though plans are afoot for the production of commercial vehicles here.

Changan

Changan's first overseas plant will be in Thailand, in which the company has projected total investments of THB 2 billion (~RM 260 million) facilties producing electrified vehicles. Set to be operational in early 2025, the company says that the cars built in Rayong will be exported to the entire ASEAN region and global right-hand drive markets.

Flash in a pan, or here for the long run? This list shows which Chinese brands have plants in South East Asia 02

Changan Eado BEV - spotted testing a few times here

Here, Changan's presence is currently in commercial vehicles, though it's been reported in 2022 that RM 1 billion will be invested in a Melaka plant upon the brand's entry in the passenger vehicle space here. No further announcements have been made since then.

Chery

Chery's expansion into the ASEAN market has seen them establish plants in all of their major markets here. The brand assembles the Omoda 5 and Tiggo 8 in Malaysia and Indonesia, with the archipelago the first South East Asian country to produce the Omoda E5 BEV.

Flash in a pan, or here for the long run? This list shows which Chinese brands have plants in South East Asia 03

Tiggo 8 Pro - CKD Malaysia

Plants in Thailand and Vietnam are on the way.

Dongfeng (DFSK)

Though this brand is in Thailand and Malaysia with commercial vehicles (sold as CAM here), plans for passenger cars within these countries seemingly hang in the balance โ€“ we first (and last) saw the DFSK Glory 580 here in 2020, and announcements to open a plant in Thailand was last reported in 2022.

Flash in a pan, or here for the long run? This list shows which Chinese brands have plants in South East Asia 04

Spotted by Funtasticko in 2020

However, DFSK has a plant in Indonesia that makes small SUVs, with plans for Seres BEVs in the future.

GAC (Aion)

GAC's presence in the ASEAN region is far-reaching, with the brand already selling cars in Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. The brand operates a CKD plant with Tan Chong Group in Malaysia, producing the GS3 Emzoom for now, with more to follow later.

Flash in a pan, or here for the long run? This list shows which Chinese brands have plants in South East Asia 05

The GAC Aion Y Plus, to be CKD Thailand too

In other parts of South East Asia, the company operates a plant in the Philippines, while the facility in Thailand is under construction.

Geely (Zeekr)

Though they have presence in Malaysia through Proton, the other brands under the Geely umbrella are yet to begin full-fledged operations here.

Flash in a pan, or here for the long run? This list shows which Chinese brands have plants in South East Asia 06

Zeekr X, open for booking in Thailand

That's about to change however as Zeekr has announced pre-orders for their cars in Thailand, as well as considering to sell them elsewhere in ASEAN including Malaysia. No word on a plant in this part of the world for the time being though.

GWM (Haval, Ora)

Great Wall Motor, under which brands like Haval stand, are one of the more established Chinese players within ASEAN.

Flash in a pan, or here for the long run? This list shows which Chinese brands have plants in South East Asia 07

Ora Good Cat, made in Thailand

Their biggest presence here is in Thailand, with the plant in Rayong manufacturing the Ora Good Cat BEVs. CKD work in Malaysia is in the pipeline.

MG

Rounding off this list is MG, with big plans to expand in the South East Asian region seeing them introduce range of BEVs in Malaysia and her neighbours.

Flash in a pan, or here for the long run? This list shows which Chinese brands have plants in South East Asia 08

The MG4, already in Malaysia, but not CKD

Thailand is where the brand's first plant in this region is, albeit not cars just yet, but BEV batteries. CKD plans in Malaysia are reportedly underway, and will kick off with two petrol cars to launch here in H2 2024.

Sanjay

Senior Writer

With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.

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