Great Wall Motors (GWM) has expressed its intention to make Thailand a hub for electric vehicles in the ASEAN region, following talks between the automaker’s top management with the country’s ministry of energy and Board of Investment (BoI).

According to the company, the discussions focused on strategies and possible tie-ups in driving Thailand to be the centre of EV development as well as supporting the growth of the industry in the future.

“Great Wall Motor has a strong confidence in Thailand. The country has a great deal of potential, including the strategic location in ASEAN, the readiness of the work force and suppliers to serve the future automotive industry, together with the great support from the government and the BoI to drive this industry forward,” said Elliot Zhang, president of GWM ASEAN and Thailand.

In the past six months, GWM has invested heavily in Thailand as part of its globalisation strategy, which will see right-hand drive vehicles be produced in the country for export within the ASEAN region, especially for new energy and EVs. Also on the cards is the setting up of a R&D centre in the country, which will conduct in-depth research as well as provide skill training and employment opportunities.

“The government is pleased and thankful that GWM’s top management has paid great importance and believed in Thailand,” commented Supattanapong Punmeechaow, Thailand’s deputy prime minister and energy minister.

“GWM’s investment will help strengthen our roadmap in EV development in terms of broadening the vision and knowledge on EV research, and the opportunity to accelerate EV manufacturing with GWM’s expertise. The investment and support from GWM will also generate more job opportunities to serve the growing EV industry, resulting in uplifting Thailand’s overall economy and quality of life for the Thai people,” he added.

Currently, GWM has expanded its automobile manufacturing and distribution business to more than 60 countries globally, and in the past two years, the company has sold more than one million cars per year.