By Angelica Oung / Staff reporter
Hon Hai Precision Industry Co (鴻海精密) and Thailand’s state-owned conglomerate PTT PCL yesterday announced a joint venture to produce electric vehicles (EV) in Thailand.
A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed virtually by Hon Hai chairman Young Liu (劉揚偉) and PTT president and chief executive officer Auttapol Rerkpiboon, the companies said in a statement.
The joint venture is a part of the Thai government’s goal to have electric vehicles account for 30 percent of all domestic auto production by 2030.
Photo courtesy of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co
The government is prioritizing the EV industry and wants to maintain the country’s leadership in automotive manufacturing and exports, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said at an event to mark the occasion.
Such a focus would also help Thailand reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, he said.
The joint venture would help Thailand lead Asia as a regional EV manufacturing hub, Rerkpiboon said.
“The expansion of EV production would provide opportunities for enhancing Thailand’s transportation system through reduced emission,” he said.
Hon Hai is broadening its push into EVs as electronics brands such as Apple Inc look to enter the auto industry.
Hon Hai would help Thailand create its own EV supply chain and provide the technology transfer needed for the nation’s existing automotive industry to transition to EV production, Liu said.
Thailand is already a regional automotive powerhouse, with more than 2 million vehicles produced there annually, about half of which are for export.
The combination of Thailand’s automotive knowledge and Hon Hai’s EV expertise would help Thailand to become a “leader in the global EV revolution,” Liu said.
No dollar amounts or firm details have been released yet, but Hon Hai said that a deal could be signed in the third quarter this year.
About US$1 billion would be invested in the venture initially, rising to a possible US$2 billion at a later stage, Bloomberg News reported, citing PTT.
PTT is Thailand’s largest business group with a market cap of US$36 billion.
The company’s existing status as the largest fuel station chain in Thailand would help in the distribution of charging stations, Hon Hai said.
Hon Hai has also signed manufacturing deals with Chinese start-up Byton Ltd (拜騰) and US-based Fisker Inc, and reached an agreement to partner with Jeep maker Stellantis NV, one of the world’s largest automakers, on a joint venture to develop digital vehicle cockpits.
Additional reporting by Bloomberg
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