WHA Seals a 8,862 Million Baht Deal with Changan Auto Southeast Asia to Set Up EV Production Base at WHA Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate 4

WHA Industrial Development PLC, a subsidiary of WHA Group, announced today the signing of a land purchase agreement with Changan Auto Southeast Asia Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of Changan Automobile, a China’s leading automotive group, for a 250-rai (99-acre) plot at WHA Industrial Estate Eastern Seaboard 4 (WHA ESIE 4) in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) for setting up an electric vehicle manufacturing plant. The deal marks a significant foreign direct investment (FDI) of 2023, reaffirming Thailand’s outstanding potential and integrated investment promotion approach as well as the recognized standard of WHA Group’s Smart Eco-Industrial Estate fully equipped with advanced infrastructure and environmental management system that make it one of the world’s best industrial estates to target industries of the future. The partnership also stands for another progress in driving Thailand towards becoming a fully integrated leading global EV hub.

The momentous signing ceremony was witnessed by Ms. Zhang Xiaoxiao, Counsellor, Economical and Commercial Office, Embassy of People’s Republic of China in the Kingdom of Thailand, Honorable Guest. The agreement was signed by Ms. Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Group CEO of WHA Corporation PCL together with Mr. Shen Xinghua, MD of Changan Auto Southeast Asia Co. Ltd., MD and President of Changan Auto sales (Thailand) Co. Ltd. and witnessed by other executives of both companies.

Mr. Shen Xinghua, MD of Changan Auto Southeast Asia Co. Ltd., MD and President of Changan Auto sales (Thailand) Co. Ltd. said that “It is our pleasure to sign the purchase agreement for land in WHA ESIE 4 under the BOI’s support to establish an electric vehicle manufacturing plant in Thailand. The Key reason for making this significant investment decision is our confidence in Thailand, and WHA ESIE 4 is the perfect choice thanks to its strategic location and the reputation of WHA Group as a leading industrial estate developer in the region. WHA ESIE 4 checks all the boxes with its outstanding location in the EEC-promoted zones for target industries, a quality workforce, world-class utilities and services, as well as high-quality transportation facilities and infrastructure. In addition, WHA Group also plays a crucial role in the expansion of automotive cluster in the EEC. All of these are essential factors that support our investment decision.”

“We plan to allocate over 8,862 million baht in the first phase of investment to set up a production base for right-hand drive vehicles, including BEV, PHEV, and REEV (Range Extended EV) to penetrate the Thai market and export to ASEAN, Australia, New Zealand, England and South Africa. The plant with an initial production capacity of 100,000 vehicles per year, is expected to start operation in 2025.” added Xinghua.

“We extend our gratitude to Changan Auto Southeast Asia for placing their trust in WHA Group as part of their plan to establish a new EV production hub base in Thailand,” said Ms. Jareeporn Jarukornsakul, Chairman of the Executive Committee and Group CEO of WHA Corporation PCL. “The signing of this agreement marks one great public-private partnership achievement of the year in promoting Thailand’s future automotive industry and economic development, while also proving that the country is a major desirable destination in Asia for foreign investment in high-tech industries.”

WHA ESIE 4 is WHA Group’s 9th industrial estate in Thailand, covering the area of 2,443 Rai (965 acres or 391 hectares), including future extensions. Its strategic location in the EEC is highly accessible and conducive to the export of goods to various regions across the world by land, sea and air transportation. Designed and developed based on WHA Smart ECO Industrial Estate concept, WHA ESIE 4 is equipped with world-class infrastructure and utility systems, state-of-the-art digital technology and innovations in communications, transportation, security, environmental control, production and wastewater treatment, all of which are connected to WHA’s Unified Operations Center (UOC) at WHA Tower Headquarters in Bangna, allowing the company to monitor the results of all relevant environmental parameters in real time. This is in line with the WHA Group’s mission to become “The Ultimate Solution for Sustainable Growth”.

The investment in the production of EVs in Thailand by many of the world’s leading EV manufacturers has resulted in a continual expansion of the automotive cluster in the EEC over the past few years. Currently, the investment value of EV manufacturers from China in Thailand is more than 1.44 billion US dollars. This also drives Thailand to become a major EV production hub in Southeast Asia and has testified to the country’s readiness to emerge as a global EV hub. So far, the BOI has approved 23 EV production plant projects from 16 manufacturers. By 2030, EVs will account for 30% of Thailand’s total vehicle production, or 725,000 units per year.

“The investment of Changan Auto Southeast Asia in Thailand is a significant move that accentuates the role of Thailand in the EV industry on the global stage. This reflects the confidence of Changan Auto Southeast Asia towards Thailand in terms of infrastructure, market potential, proactive policy to promote EV industry and integrated logistics and supply chain to accommodate the value chain. WHA Group is keen to support the government policies, especially the national strategic plan to drive Thailand towards becoming the world’s major production hub for EVs and EV parts, as well as the expansion of EV charging station network and the production of EV batteries in order to build a complete EV ecosystem and achieve the goal of Zero Emission Vehicle by 2030. This undoubtedly aligns with WHA Group’s commitment to achieve Net Zero Greenhouse Gas emission by 2050,” added Jareeporn.