(Reuters) – Chinese electric vehicle frontrunner BYD has taken an early lead in Southeast Asia’s small but fast-growing EV market, partly on the back of distribution partnerships with large, local conglomerates.
Here are details about some of its regional partners: MALAYSIA & SINGAPORE
BYD cars are sold by Sime Darby Motors, the automotive arm of Malaysian trading and logistics giant Sime Darby, in two of the region’s wealthiest countries.
The partnership started in 2019 when Sime Darby Motors began distributing BYD EVs in Singapore, where it now has a dealership network of seven outlets.
Sime Darby Motors took on the distributorship for Malaysia in 2022 and currently has nine dealerships nationwide, with another 12 in the pipeline, the company said.
Rever Automotive is the distribution and after-sales partner of BYD in Thailand, the Chinese EV giant’s largest overseas market where it is investing nearly $500 million to build a new production facility.
Rever, whose CEO and vice CEO come from the family that controls local conglomerate Siam Motors Group, said last year it would invest more than 3 billion baht ($83.89 million) to push BYD into the top tier of Thailand’s auto market.
The company currently has 62 dealer locations across Thailand that sell BYD cars, according to its website.
AC Motors, part of Filipino conglomerate Ayala Corp, which has interests spanning from real estate to renewable energy, announced a distribution partnership with BYD last month.
The company, which also sells Japanese and European brands, will set up a dozen BYD dealerships across the Philippines in the next 12 months as it seeks to build an EV market in the country, backed by a reduction in tariffs.
Indonesia’s Bakrie & Brothers, which is focused on the manufacturing and infrastructure sector, is a distributor for BYD’s EV buses in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.
The partnership between the Chinese automaker and VKTR, a unit of the conglomerate, began in 2018 and has so far delivered 52 EV buses to the local government of the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
VKTR is currently in discussions with multiple Indonesian firms for commercial orders for BYD buses and does not plan to immediately enter the passenger car segment, an official said.
($1 = 35.7600 baht)
(Compiled by Devjyot Ghoshal in Bangkok; Editing by Jamie Freed)