Tesla executives looking for 790-acre land in Thailand: Prime Minister

(Credit: Tesla Twitter)

In an apparent bid to highlight Thailand’s potential position as an electric vehicle manufacturing hub in Southeast Asia, Thai Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin personally accompanied Tesla executives on a tour of potential industrial sites last week.

“I went out of my way to entertain them so they would fall in love with Thailand,” Thavisin said. The Prime Minister also noted that the Tesla executives were looking for a sizable piece of land in Thailand. “They are looking for 2,000 rai (790 acres) of land.”

This strategic move comes just months after Srettha assumed office in August. A month later, he held a crucial meeting with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. In mid-November, Thavisin visited Tesla’s Fremont Factory, even posing for a photo with Tesla VP Vehicle Engineering Lars Moravy on top of a Cybertruck

By the end of November, the Prime Minister revealed that Tesla executives would be arriving in Thailand to inspect potential factory locations. He also hinted that the electric vehicle maker could potentially invest about $5 billion in Thailand. 

Thailand’s automotive industry is already one of the largest in Southeast Asia, and it includes Japanese giants like Toyota, Isuzu, and Honda, but the Thai government seems determined to move towards electric vehicles. Thailand has an annual production of 2.5 million vehicles, and the country is hoping to convert about a third of this to EVs by the end of the decade, as noted in a Reuters report. 

Thailand is rolling out programs that would make EVs more attractive to consumers. Government subsidies currently reach up to 150,000 baht (about $4,200) per vehicle. These programs have helped Thailand account for about half of Southeast Asia’s EV sales in the second quarter.

Thailand’s tax breaks and subsidies have already lured Chinese carmakers BYD and Great Wall Motors to commit $1.44 billion to building new production facilities in Thailand. Considering Tesla’s place at the forefront of the EV sector, however, one could not deny that a Gigafactory in Thailand could be a crown jewel of sorts for the country’s automotive segment.  

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Tesla executives looking for 790-acre land in Thailand: Prime Minister
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