Kia Considers Electric Vehicle Manufacturing Plant in Thailand

South Korea’s second-largest automaker Kia is evaluating the construction of a car plant in Thailand to bolster its position in the Southeast Asian country’s domestic electric vehicle (EV) market.

According to South Korean auto industry sources Kia plans to establish a sales subsidiary in Thailand this month to oversee local operations, including direct sales, marketing and after-sales services. Until now Kia has been selling its vehicles in Thailand through a local agent.

Kia is reported to have been in talks with the Thailand Board of Investment on the new factory, which could have an annual production capacity of 250,000 vehicles.

If the development is confirmed the factory will be Kia’s first in Southeast Asia, at present the company currently has production sites in the US, China, India, Mexico and Slovakia.

Thailand is one of Southeast Asia’s largest automobile producers and exporters, with its EV sales accounting for nearly half of all EVs sold in Southeast Asia in the second quarter of 2023.

The country is offering generous state subsidies and tax incentives to carmakers intending to convert one-third of new cars to EVs by 2030 in the country.