Chinese EV price cuts get TCCT green light
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Chinese EV price cuts get TCCT green light

An electric vehicle is on display at a motor expo in Nonthaburi. (File photo)
An electric vehicle is on display at a motor expo in Nonthaburi. (File photo)

The Trade Competition Commission of Thailand (TCCT) says price wars among electric vehicle (EV) dealerships do not violate the trade competition law, but rather foster competition.

Visanu Vongsinsirikul, secretary-general of the TCCT, said recent price slashing by Chinese EV brand BYD in Thailand is not considered a violation of the Trade Competition Act of 2017 as the product is not being sold below production costs.

“Automakers want to increase sales to maximise their production, thus decreasing the cost per unit, under the principle of economy of scale,” said Mr Visanu.

“The price of EVs sold in Thailand is higher than those sold in China, and price cuts induce more competition in the automotive market, benefiting consumers. Consumers can file complaints for help and support at the Office of the Consumer Protection Board if they are damaged by a business entity.”

The commission did not receive any official consumer complaints regarding the alleged violation of this law, but the accusation had been made on social media.

Examples of violations include a business operator unfairly using superior market power or superior bargaining power to force EV suppliers to reduce prices or offer excessive discounts to drive competitors out of business.

Products could be sold below production costs based on business grounds, such as a time-limited “buy one, get one free” promotion or if the products have almost run out of stock.

Rever Automotive, the sole distributor for BYD Thailand, reduced the price of EVs to a range of 140,000-160,000 baht for the Dolphin model and 100,000-340,000 baht for the Atto model.

In related news, the Internal Trade Department and TCCT on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the promotion of free and fair trade competition.

The objectives of the MoU include fostering collaboration in the promotion and regulation of business operators to maintain free and fair competition, and the exchange of information on business operations for supporting the supervision and enforcement of the trade competition law and the formulation of relevant trade policies.

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