China’s BYD acquires 20% stake in Thailand’s Rever Automotive

China’s BYD acquires 20% stake in Thailand’s Rever Automotive

BANGKOK (Reuters) – China’s BYD said on Saturday it will take a 20% stake in its local distributor Rever Automotive in Thailand, its biggest market outside China where it is a leader in electric vehicles.

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

Rever Automotive, which has more than 100 showrooms in Thailand, launched BYD sales in 2022 and BYD quickly became the country’s best-selling EV brand.

“We are pleased 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, General Manager of BYD Auto Sales Asia Pacific.

Thailand is a regional hub for automobile assembly and export, long dominated by Japanese automakers such as Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and Isuzu Motors.

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

The acquisition comes as Rever faces a government investigation into steep discounts that left some former customers feeling they overpaid for their cars.

(Reporting by Chaiyut Situbonsarng; Editing by Jason Neely)

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