Aiways and Phoenix EV sign MoU to build assembly plant in Thailand
Strategic partners Aiways and Phoenix Motion Company Ltd. (hereafter referred to as Phoenix EV) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Bio Hub Asia on December 2 to set up an assembly plant in Chachoengsao province in Thailand, with an investment of more than EUR40 million (USD42 million).
Thai start-up Phoenix EV and Chinese personal mobility provider Aiways, with European headquarters in Munich, Germany, signed a long-term partnership agreement in Bangkok, Thailand on November 28. In addition to the volume of vehicles, the strategic cooperation agreement also covers other business areas in which the companies intend to cooperate in the Thai market. Aiways is the first Chinese start-up to introduce an electric vehicle to the European market with the launch of the U5 in 2020, a battery-electric sport utility vehicle (SUV).
The new assembly and battery plant, which will be built on 400 hectares, will produce the first locally produced units of the Aiways U5 SUV and Aiways U6 SUV-Coupé as early as 2023.
Bio Hub Asia in Chachoengsao Province is the first vertically integrated “Bio-Circular-Green-Economy” industrial area in Thailand and Southeast Asia. The plan for Bio Hub Asia is to establish 54 sustainable factories from diverse sectors—from chemicals to energy, medicine and health, to a research and development center for sustainable innovation.
The benefits of local production in the Bio Hub promoted by the Board of Investment of Thailand (BOI) and Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) are multi-faceted. In addition to direct fiscal incentives, the exemption from import duties in particular ensures market-driven pricing.
With its assembly plant in Chachoengsao, Aiways is the first Chinese manufacturer in a sustainable environment, accelerating the transformation of the “Detroit of Asia.” Thailand is the largest automotive hub in Southeast Asia and the tenth largest vehicle manufacturing country in the world.
“The idea behind Bio Hub Asia fits perfectly with our company philosophy: we want to create benefits. For our customers, but also for the community and society, by solving the challenges of our time in an intelligent and sustainable way,” says Dr. Alexander Klose, executive vice president, Overseas Operations at Aiways.
“The benefits of the Bio Hub also extend far beyond the production of our vehicles; for example, we are also working here with a software company that develops charging solutions and grid stabilization for our infrastructure in Thailand, and we are ensuring fast and efficient development of market-specific product changes with a research team based here.”
For Aiways, this move to Thailand also marks another milestone in the company’s history. As part of the “signing ceremony”, the first drivable prototypes of the right-hand drive version of the Aiways U5 SUV were shown, which will also roll off the production line at the new plant in the future. The RHD version will not only be limited to the Thai market; the Aiways U5 SUV and and a little later also the Aiways U6 SUV-Coupé will also be rolled out to other left-driving markets from 2023 as announced.