Chinese automobile manufacturer GWM (Great Wall Motors) has signed an agreement with US peer GM (General Motors) to acquire GM’s production facilities in Rayong, Thailand. GWM plans to make Thailand its ASEAN production base for new energy and internal-combustion engine vehicles. GWM is expected to start production at the Thai facilities in the first quarter of 2021.
The Rayong plant will be the eleventh full-scale automobile manufacturing base of GWM worldwide. Upon handover of assets, the plant’s engine and vehicle production hub will be renovated and undergo system upgrades to become a smart factory. It will be equipped with technology for SUV and pickup truck production, including advanced powertrain technologies, giving it the ability to produce internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles and electric vehicles such as hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) and battery electric vehicles (BEVs). Moreover, the plant will be fully equipped with production automation innovations and technologies, such as AI, to maximize operational efficiency.
According to the GWM, Thailand has strong fundamentals as a leader in the automotive industry and is regarded as one of the world’s best locations to establish an automobile production base due to its readiness in terms of workforce and well-developed automotive ecosystem.