Chinese state-owned automaker SAIC Motor’s new battery assembly plant in Thailand is up and running. The 500 million Thai Baht ($13.9 million) plant, established with leading Thai conglomerate Charoen Pokphand Group at an industrial park in eastern Thailand is the first of its kind in Southeast Asia’s second-largest economy. The endeavor is expected to shore up electric vehicle production in the country, China News Service reported on Wednesday, citing Zhao Feng, general manager of SAIC Motor-CP, the companies’ joint venture. The 75-hectare (185-acre) facility will be able to make up to 50,000 lithium-ion battery packs a year. SAIC said it has sold 18,000 battery cars in Thailand since 2019, while rival BYD sold nearly 16,000 Atto 3 electric SUVs there between January and September, according to Autolife Thailand. [China News Service, in Chinese]