Is it the bend that will change Aiways’ situation? The Chinese start-up has just announced the installation of a factory in Thailand, just after signing a contract for the supply of 100,000 electric cars.
Aiways was one of the first Chinese start-ups to set up in Europe. That was in 2019, just weeks after the launch in China of its first model, the U5 electric SUV. Being the first is not necessarily a guarantee of success, and sales remain mixed, in Europe, but also on its national market. This year, the start-up has undergone a major overhaul of its staff and is seeking new impetus, symbolized by the finalization of the launch of the second model, the U6.
But at the end of 2022, would the brand have found this new impetus in Thailand? First, Aiways signed an agreement with Phoenix EV, a “mobility service provider”, for the delivery of 100,000 electric cars in 5 years. The agreement provides a bonus option for 50,000 additional units. Aiways and Phoenix EV did not only agree on the delivery of vehicles. They will cooperate on the whole process: distribution, services, deployment of a recharging and battery exchange infrastructure, etc.
As a bonus, Aiways will set up a factory in Thailand. Its second production unit, which will be intended for the local market, but not only. From this new production unit, Aiways will be able to supply the right-hand drive markets. We can indeed remember that we drive on the left in Thailand. The U5 and U6 will soon be able to land in the United Kingdom or Ireland, but also in Australia and New Zealand, and in Asia, India, Malaysia, Indonesia…
This plant will be integrated into the major Bio Hub Asia project. It will occupy an area of 400 hectares. On the other hand, with an investment of only 40 million euros, we can assume that it will simply be a CKD (Complete Knocked Down) assembly unit from kits of parts sent from China. The first copies will be assembled from 2023, with 600 units planned for next year.
Aiways is first again. It is indeed the first factory of a Chinese start-up in the electric car sector installed outside of China. At the start of the year, a rumor lent the manufacturer the intention of installing a factory in Europe.
BYD opens plant in Thailand to supply Europe