Thursday, February 9, 2023

Tesla arrives in Thailand to compete against rivals

BANGKOK ( Associated Press) — Tesla has arrived in Thailand, offering its popular Model 3 and Model Y at prices aimed at competing with rivals such as Chinese brand BYD.

The company made a splash on Wednesday at the Siam Paragon Shopping Mall in Bangkok. Online orders have already started and deliveries are expected to begin in the first quarter of next year.

Southeast Asia and its more than 600 million consumers are increasingly important to automakers looking to expand their sales, especially of electric vehicles.

Tesla said the vehicles will have the latest satellite navigation systems and automatic software updates, among other features.

The company is selling its Model 3 Long Range and Performance models. The company said the Model Y would be sold in three versions “to meet the specific lifestyle demands of each Thai driver”.

Unit prices will range from 1.76 million to 2.5 million baht ($50,000 to $71,000).

“The price is much lower than we expected. For after-sales service, I don’t worry too much as the parts of an EV are not very complicated as compared to fuel-powered cars,” said Witt Vongangmadi, who works with his wife. Also attended the launch and plans to place an order for a vehicle. ,

Epichat Prasitnarit, another potential buyer, said he was surprised by the price.

“Brands from other countries are launching their cars here at the same time, so we have options and that is great for consumers,” he said.

Tesla said it will open its first service center and Supercharger station in Thailand in March and plans to install at least 10 in the country by 2023.

Besides Tesla and BYD, Nissan Motor Co. has turned Thailand into a regional hub for electric vehicles. Mercedes says it will announce sales of its EQS450+ soon.

Nithi Thumprathom, an auto expert at Auto Life Thailand, said Tesla’s launch is likely to provide a big boost to the electric vehicle market in Thailand, largely thanks to its competitive price and brand value, which it has gained over Chinese automakers such as BYD. There is an advantage.

“It is surprising that Tesla has declared the entry price (of the cheapest model) at 1.7 million baht,” he said. “This is the price of Japanese cars with fuel or hybrid engines. It will make such a big difference in the market.

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Elaine Kurtenbach contributed to this report.

Nation World News Desk
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