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Hyundai and Great Wall EVs challenge Japan's dominance in Southeast Asia

As Thailand and Indonesia go electric, hybrid-focused players risk losing out

Great Wall Motor produces the Haval H6 hybrid SUV at its new smart factory in Thailand.

BANGKOK -- When China's Great Wall Motor rolled out the Haval H6 hybrid sport utility vehicle in Thailand last month, the slogan for the launch -- "It's time to change" -- seemed to throw down the gauntlet to the Japanese companies that enjoy a near-monopoly in Southeast Asia.

Great Wall is among the Chinese and South Korean automakers capitalizing on efforts by Thailand and Indonesia to push electric vehicles, threatening to leave behind Japanese rivals reluctant to abandon internal combustion engines.

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