BMW plans electric-car battery factory in Thailand

BMW plans electric-car battery factory in Thailand

BMW's first all-electric car, i3, is unveiled at a ceremony in Beijing on July 29, 2013. (Reuters file photo)
BMW's first all-electric car, i3, is unveiled at a ceremony in Beijing on July 29, 2013. (Reuters file photo)

German carmaker BMW Group is considering building a new plug-in hybrid vehicle battery factory in Thailand, the country's industry minister said on Friday.

Construction was likely to start in the middle of next year with an investment of 2 billion baht, Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang said, adding that the factory would make hybrid vehicles more affordable for Thai consumers.

"Hybrid vehicles are still expensive now but once there is a factory established and batteries are available this will make it affordable for consumers," Ms Atchaka told reporters.

A spokesman for BMW in Thailand said the company was not immediately able to comment on the investment but would issue a statement on Monday.

Ms Atchaka said the government was working with BMW to offer tax incentives in order to make the country a centre for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Thailand is a regional production and export hub for the world's top carmakers, and the sector accounts for around 10% of the country's gross domestic product.


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