Daily Management Review

The Growing EV Industry In Southeast Asia Is Still Controlled By Chinese Automakers


The Growing EV Industry In Southeast Asia Is Still Controlled By Chinese Automakers
According to Counterpoint Research, sales of electric vehicles are rising in Southeast Asia, driven by China's BYD, and Vietnam's VinFast. These companies are displacing Japanese and Korean companies that dominate the internal combustion engine automobile industry.
According to the research organisation, EV sales in the region more than quadrupled from a year earlier in the January to March quarter. Conversely, ICE car sales fell by 7%.
"As Japanese and Korean automakers, who dominate conventional vehicle sales, lag in EV adoption, Chinese OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are stepping in to fill the gap," said Counterpoint analyst Abhik Mukherjee.
"Over 70% of EV sales in the region are from Chinese brands, led by BYD," he said. In the first quarter of last year, 75% of all EVs sold in Southeast Asia were made by Chinese car makers.
Leading the way is Thailand, the second-biggest economy in Southeast Asia, where Chinese automakers have invested over $1.44 billion to establish new EV production facilities.
In the first quarter of this year, 55% of all EV sales in Southeast Asia came from the region's car manufacturing cluster, which is home to major automakers Toyota and Honda from Japan. The category saw a 44% increase in sales over the previous year.
"Vietnam saw an even more impressive growth, with BEV (battery electric vehicle) sales increasing by more than 400%, contributing to nearly 17% of regional sales," the research firm said.
China's best-selling electric vehicle manufacturer BYD continued to dominate the regional market, controlling 47% of it, with VinFast of Vietnam coming in second.
Southeast Asia is still a minor EV market compared to other countries, but BYD has found early success there thanks to distribution relationships with major local companies.
Despite a 37% increase in sales over the same time, American electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla witnessed a two percentage point decline in its market share to 4% in the region.
A number of Southeast Asian nations, including as Thailand and Indonesia, have implemented incentives to boost demand for electric vehicles and draw in new capital; Chinese automakers, embroiled in a fierce domestic pricing war, have responded to this appeal.
"Southeast Asia is becoming a major expansion region for Chinese OEMs," Mukherjee said.