Total investment in the plant will be about $65.9 million and the first phase is expected to be completed by July 2024.

(A Hyper SSR electric supercar displayed by at the Thailand auto show. Image credit: GAC Aion)

GAC Aion, the electric vehicle (EV) subsidiary of GAC Group, will build a plant in Thailand as it ramps up its efforts in overseas markets.

GAC Aion's factory in Thailand is in the pipeline and it will be located in Rayong province in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), the company announced yesterday.

The plant, with a total investment of THB 2.3 billion ($65.9 million), is designed to have a capacity of 50,000 units per year, GAC Aion said.

The facility will be built in two phases, with the first phase expected to be completed by July 2024, GAC Aion said, without disclosing the capacity of the first phase.

GAC Aion is showcasing five models under the Aion and Hyper brands -- Aion Y Plus, Aion ES, Hyper GT, Hyper HT, Hyper SSR -- as well as its core technology at the Thailand auto show, which began November 29, according to the company.

The company has partnered with a number of dealer groups in Thailand and has now identified 34 sales outlets and service centers, it said.

By the end of this year, GAC Aion will identify 50 sales stores and service centers in Thailand and plans to build 70 by 2024, it said.

GAC Aion, one of the top-selling EV brands in China, sold 41,503 vehicles in October, up 38.05 percent year-on-year but down 19.56 percent from September, according to data it released on November 1.

In the January-October period, GAC Aion sold 394,489 vehicles, up 85.74 percent year-on-year.

On June 28, GAC Aion signed a memorandum of cooperation with a Thai dealer to officially enter the Thai market, kicking off the brand's internationalization.

The signing was the first step in GAC Aion's overseas strategy, which will see the company set up its Southeast Asian headquarters in Thailand within this year, it said at the time.

On August 21, GAC Aion's first batch of exported vehicles, 100 units of Aion Y Plus, were loaded onto a ship at Guangzhou Nansha Port and started to be shipped to Thailand's Port of Laem Chabang, marking the first time that GAC Aion has shipped vehicles to an overseas market.

The Aion Y Plus vehicles are a right-hand drive version built by GAC Aion specifically for the Thai market and had been certified by local transportation authorities, the company said in August.

Thailand, a key economy in Southeast Asia, has a broad market outlook and great potential for growth, GAC Aion said in August, adding that it will set up its Southeast Asian headquarters in Thailand within this year, and that localized production is also under active preparation.

($1 = THB 34.9200)

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