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BYD accelerates in Thailand as fuel costs drive EV demand

Having cars in stock gives Chinese advantage over Japanese rivals

Thai motorists scooped up more than 2,500 BYD Atto 3 cars on the day it began taking orders. The Chinese automaker promised 5,000 cars in Thailand by year’s end. (Photo by Francesca Regalado)

BANGKOK -- Thai motorists are eyeing electric vehicles at the country's annual motor expo that opened in Bangkok on Thursday, as they look for relief from high fuel prices. But with only a few brands ready to deliver EVs by year's end, Chinese automaker BYD has an early advantage.

"Any brand that can deliver fast, that's where customers will flock," said a married couple from Bangkok, who ordered a BYD Atto 3 SUV after waiting since May for electric models from MG and Volvo. Bookings for the Atto 3 opened on Nov. 1, and the company guaranteed that 5,000 cars would be ready for delivery by the end of the year. Half that supply was preordered on the first day.

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