Great Wall Motor (GWM) has said it plans to produce eight electric vehicle (EV) models at its Rayong plant in Thailand, starting in the first quarter of 2024.

The news came during the local launch of two new premium SUV models under the company’s Tank brand.

GWM was scheduled to begin deliveries of Tank 300 and 500 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUVs in October and said it had received 26,000 orders within two hours of their launch.

Narong Sritalayon, managing director of Great Wall Motor (Thailand), said the Ora Good Cat compact passenger car would be the first EV produced at the new Rayong plant. He said the company had sold 8,500 in Thailand so far, all imported from China.

GWM would also export EVs from Rayong to other countries in the region. It already produces the Haval SUV at a separate That factory and has sold 15,000 so far.

Narong said: “We are deciding on our EV production capacity under an investment privilege package granted by the Board of Investment.”

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By GlobalData

The company was investing THB 23bn (US$625m) in its Thai EV factory along with an EV charging network and R&D centre.

The company targeted 78 sales outlets by the end of the year.

GWM expects the Thai EV market to reach 70,000 units in 2023, rising to 100,000 in 2024.

The government wants EVs to account for half the domestic vehicle market by 2030, with the country a manufacturing hub.