While western companies have their eyes on China as the big market for EVs, and while they worry about their precious know-how being expropriated by the nasty Chicoms, Chinese are already looking elsewhere for low cost production of their cars.
A group of Chinese business people started a joint venture with a Vietnamese trading firm to make low-cost electric vehicles in northern Vietnam, The Nikkei [sub] heard from a source close to the people’s committee of Lang Son Province. The company will take advantage of cheap local labor to build electric cars that will go for a bargain basement price of $10,000.
The business will supply these cars to China and three countries in Southeast Asia, says The Nikkei. This would be the first electric vehicle maker in Southeast Asia.
Components, materials, assembly line facilities and machine tools will come from China. If they find a way to get around the high import tariffs China charges on cars, they will have a business. China has a free trade agreement with the ASEAN countries.