VinFast ranks second in EV sales in Southeast Asia

By Reuters   June 24, 2024 | 09:49 pm PT
VinFast ranks second in EV sales in Southeast Asia
A VF 5 model on display at an event hosted by VinFast in late 2023. Photo by VnExpress/Thanh Nhan
VinFast's electric vehicle sales were the second highest in Southeast Asia in the first quarter of 2024, trailing only those of China's BYD.

EV sales in the region more than doubled in the January to March quarter from a year before, according to the research firm Counterpoint Research. Sales of ICE cars, meanwhile, slid by 7%.

"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 firm said.

"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.

Thailand, Southeast Asia's second largest economy where Chinese car makers have committed more than US$1.44 billion to set up new EV production facilities, is leading the charge.

The regional auto manufacturing hub where Japan's Toyota Motor and Honda Motor have a major presence accounted for 55% of all Southeast Asia's EV sales in the first quarter, with the segment growing 44% compared to last year.

U.S. electric carmaker Tesla saw its market share in the region drop two percentage points to 4% in the first quarter, in spite of its sales growing 37% in the same period.

A number of Southeast Asian countries, including Thailand and Indonesia, have rolled out incentives to stimulate EV demand and attract new investments - a call answered by Chinese car makers locked in a bruising price competition at home.

"Southeast Asia is becoming a major expansion region for Chinese OEMs," Mukherjee said.

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