Nex Point invests B6bn in 2nd plant
Orders pouring in for EV buses and trucks
SET-listed Nex Point, an electric vehicle (EV) assembler, is allocating 6 billion baht to develop its second production facility in Chachoengsao to serve increasing purchase orders from electric bus and truck operators.
Construction of the new facility, located on 500 rai of land near its first EV plant in Ban Pho district, is scheduled to start next year and its commercial operation is expected to begin in 2025, said Khanist Srivajiraprabha, chief executive of Nex Point.
The production capacity of the second factory is 50,000 units a year.
Nex Point invested in EV manufacturing through its subsidiary, Absolute Assembly Co, a joint venture with 45% of the outlay coming from Nex Point and 55% from SET-listed Energy Absolute, a renewable energy and EV developer and operator.
Nex Point has operated its first EV assembly factory, with an annual capacity of 6,000 units, since the middle of last year.
Mr Khanist said he expects oil-powered vehicles to be gradually replaced by EVs over the next decade.
Next year, the number of electric buses is projected to increase thanks to the state's policy of using battery-powered buses to replace ageing internal combustion engine models, he said.
There are currently 151,550 registered buses on the roads, with 40,000 of them earmarked to be replaced by electric buses within 10 years, said Mr Khanist.
Nex Point remains upbeat about its business performance despite losses for many years.
He said the company believes it can move from red to black on its balance sheet this year despite a loss of 112 million baht in the first half of 2022.
Nex Point has received purchase orders from bus operators and has already delivered 299 buses to its customers.
Up to 1,250 buses are set to be delivered in the second half of this year, with 3,195 more scheduled for delivery next year.
Nex Point also received purchase orders from inter-provincial bus operators who require 200 buses, slated for delivery this year.
The company is also approaching operators of shuttle buses and garbage trucks, aiming to nudge them towards EV technology, said Mr Khanist.
Nex Point suffered losses from 2018 to the first half of this year, according to its reports to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
The losses were partially attributed to sluggish sales for its hard disk drive, camera, audio and electrical parts businesses as the market matured.
This situation caused the company to diversify into the EV assembly business.