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Honda Launches Electric Vehicle Production in Thailand, Expanding Presence in Southeast Asian Market

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Honda Motor has announced the commencement of electric vehicle (EV) production in Thailand, marking the Japanese automaker’s significant move into the burgeoning Southeast Asian EV market. Slated for sales starting in the first quarter of 2024, Honda becomes the first Japanese company to manufacture passenger EVs in Thailand, though Toyota Motor has also been producing commercial EVs in small quantities.

The production of Honda’s e:N1 SUV has begun in Prachinburi province, Eastern Thailand, on a newly established line within an existing plant. While the production capacity of this line has not been revealed, Honda plans to announce the SUV’s price and cruising range in the first quarter of 2024. A prototype of the e:N1 was previously showcased at the Thailand International Motor Expo in 2022.

Honda’s entry into Thailand’s EV market follows Nissan’s Leaf and Toyota’s bZ4X, both available in the country but not locally produced. This move signifies a strategic step for Honda, given that EV sales are gaining momentum in Thailand, a market predominantly dominated by Japanese automakers.

October records from Autolife Thailand indicate that EVs constituted a record 13% of all new vehicle sales in the country. The Thai government’s subsidies and supportive measures have attracted numerous EV manufacturers, including China’s BYD, intensifying the competition in this market.

Honda’s decision to start EV production in Thailand reflects a broader industry trend towards electrification and an acknowledgment of the growing importance of the Southeast Asian market in global automotive strategies. The introduction of the e:N1 SUV represents Honda’s commitment to expanding its footprint in the EV sector and competing effectively in a region experiencing a rapid shift towards electric mobility.

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