Rever Leasing aims to lead EV loan market
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Rever Leasing aims to lead EV loan market

Parent is sole seller of BYD vehicles

Mr Isara projects new car sales in Thailand of 780,000 units in 2024, on par with the previous year. Varuth Hirunyatheb
Mr Isara projects new car sales in Thailand of 780,000 units in 2024, on par with the previous year. Varuth Hirunyatheb

Rever Leasing, an auto loan unit under Rever Automotive Co, the sole distributor of BYD electric vehicles (EVs), is poised to commence operations next month, setting a lofty goal to emerge as the premier provider of EV loans in Thailand in a few years.

In an exclusive interview with the Bangkok Post, Isara Wongrung, chief executive of Rever Leasing, said being the only captive EV leasing company in the Thai market positions Rever to achieve this ambitious goal.

Uptick in demand

Mr Isara projected Thailand's new car sales to remain at 780,000 units in 2024, on par with the previous year. This flat growth aligns with the country's slow economic recovery and projected GDP growth of 3% this year.

He said delays in disbursement of the fiscal 2024 budget dampened economic activities and consumer purchasing power this year, resulting in fewer new car sales during the first quarter.

Mr Isara said he anticipates a rebound in car sales following the commencement of budget allocations.

In 2023, new car sales in Thailand fell to 780,000 units from 830,000 in 2022. EVs accounted for 10% or 78,000 units, with BYD capturing a dominant market share of 50%.

He said he predicts a surge in EV sales to 100,000 units this year, with BYD maintaining its market leadership at 50% with 50,000 EV units.

Rever Automotive, which was set up by the Phornprapha family, launched BYD in late 2022.

Three-year growth

Rever Leasing is set to commence operations in May with initial registered capital of 1 billion baht, fully owned by Rever Automotive.

The parent company committed to injecting additional capital as the leasing firm expands.

Three large banks -- Kasikornbank, Siam Commercial Bank and Bank of Ayudhya -- are partnering with Rever to provide auto loans to BYD car buyers.

Mr Isara outlined Rever Leasing's aggressive growth plans, aiming for a 20% market share in the EV loan segment in its first year of operation, growing by 10 percentage points annually over the next two years, eventually reaching 40% in 2026.

The company wants its auto loan portfolio to reach 10 billion baht this year, then grow to 20 billion next year and 30 billion in 2026, he said.

Stable interest rates

During the first year of offering loans to BYD buyers in 2023, the three bank partners did not classify any non-performing loans (NPLs).

With a selective strategy and robust risk management, the banks effectively managed bad debts associated with BYD loans, said Mr Isara.

Based on stringent loan criteria and concerns over escalating household debt, which is at 91% of GDP, the average loan approval rate for BYD purchases among the three bank partners decreased to 70-75% of loan applications, down from 80% previously.

He said Rever Leasing intends to adopt similar strategies for its operations.


The company will target customers with higher incomes, including office workers, government officials and entrepreneurs who earn a minimum salary of 30,000 baht per month, said Mr Isara.

BYD also requires a minimum down payment of 20-25% of the total car value, higher than its competitors.

With a robust risk management framework, Rever Leasing aims to keep NPLs at no more than 1.5% of total outstanding loans this year, he said.

"We will commence our operations when the policy rate stabilises, with the possibility of a later cut," said Mr Isara.

"A steady interest rate outlook will enhance the ability of car buyers to repay their debts, benefiting the overall auto industry."

In response to elevated interest rates, the three bank partners raised the auto loan interest rate for BYD vehicles to 1.98% per year, based on the new car flat rate, rising from 1.88% last month.

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