BYD's booth at the 2023 Shenyang International Auto Show on May 3, 2023 in northeastern China
Hanoi Reuters  — 

Chinese automaker BYD plans to expand into electric vehicles manufacturing and assembly in Vietnam, according to a Vietnamese government statement citing the company’s chair.

Reuters in January exclusively reported that the Xian-based EV maker had plans to open a plant in Vietnam to produce car parts, with the aim to export components to an assembly plant planned in neighboring Thailand.

In a government statement released after the meeting between BYD (BYDDF)’s founder and chair Wang Chuanfu and Deputy Prime Minister Tran Hong Ha on May 5, Wang said he expected Vietnam to create favorable conditions for BYD (BYDDF) to complete investment procedures.

The statement did not mention how much new investment BYD would top up for the expansion.

BYD, which currently runs a factory to assemble electronic devices and parts in the northern Vietnamese province of Phu Tho, also proposed forming a local supply chain, according to the government statement released on Friday.

The presence of BYD would pose a direct challenge to VinFast, a Vietnamese EV maker that began selling cars in 2019 and plans to expand in the United States and Europe.

Last September, BYD, backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, announced that it would build an EV assembly plant in Thailand with annual capacity of 150,000 cars from 2024.

Berkshire Hathaway has sold 1.96 million BYD for HK$462.09 million ($58.9 million), a stock exchange filing showed.

The sale on May 2 lowered Berkshire’s holdings in BYD’s issued H-shares to 9.87% from 10.05%, the filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Monday showed.