China’s BYD slows down plans for EV factory in Vietnam, industrial park says

HANOI, (Reuters) – Chinese electric vehicles maker BYD has slowed down its plans to build an EV factory in Vietnam, a manager of the industrial park where the plant would be built told a shareholders meeting on Thursday.

Vietnam’s government said in May that BYD had decided to build a factory to manufacture and assemble electric cars in the northern Vietnamese province of Phu Tho, where the company already has a plant that produces tablets for Apple.

“Due to its strategy and the slowdown of the electric vehicle market, BYD slowed down (plans) to start construction,” said Luong Thanh Tung, vice chairman of Gelex Group, the company that runs the industrial park where BYD would build the new factory.

Speaking at a shareholders conference in Hanoi, Tung said that after lengthy negotiations with BYD, Gelex had reserved 100 hectares (250 acres) of commercial land at the Phu Ha industrial park for an electric vehicle factory.

But after delays, the two sides were now seeking a suitable time to start the project, he told the meeting.

In a later statement to Reuters, Gelex said BYD had not made any formal announcement about the possible factory.

BYD headquarters in China did not respond to a request for comment about Thursday’s statements from Gelex.

Growth in the global EV market is expected to slow this year because of a fall in state subsidies.

The Vietnamese government’s announcement about BYD’s investment plans followed a visit to the country by BYD head Wang Chuanfu in May. The statement did not indicate a starting date or the size of the investment for the project.

At a meeting with Vietnam’s Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha in May, Chuanfu said he hoped for “favourable conditions to complete investment procedures,” according to the Vietnamese government.

BYD is building an EV factory in Thailand and plans to build EV facilities in Indonesia.

Last year it sold globally over 3 million electric vehicles, including battery EVs and plug-in hybrids.

Reporting by Phuong Nguyen in Hanoi Additional reporting by Zhang Yan in Shanghai Writing by Francesco Guarascio Editing by Michael Perry and Frances Kerry