Not long ago I was telling you about how BMW can avoid some of the unfortunate consequences of the trade war going on between the US and China. While some cars, like the BMW X7, will take some big hits sales-wise, others will be luckier thanks to some interesting workarounds. Some cars sold in China are assembled in Thailand thanks to CKD kits and it looks like BMW has bigger plans for the country, announcing a new battery assembly plant today.

A local high-voltage battery production plant was inaugurated this week in Thailand, in collaboration with the Dräxlmaier Group, one of the world’s leading automotive suppliers and a partner of BMW Group since 1966. The high-voltage battery assembly plant is assembling both battery modules and the battery itself. The staff working in the Dräxlmaier plant has been trained by BMW experts and should offer the highest level of craftsmanship. The batteries assembled there will use cells provided by a supplier in the Asian region, though BMW didn’t go into specifics.

“One of the pillars of BMW Group’s global strategy is electrification, and BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand is underlining its commitment to this mission by taking another big step forward in our electro-mobility strategy. The start of local battery production enables us to better respond to growing domestic demand for electrified vehicles in Thailand. This new capability also strengthens the performance of Plant Rayong in fulfilling the country’s mission of sustainable mobility,” said Mr. Uwe Quaas, Managing Director of BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand.

Final batteries are transported to Plant Rayong for the production of the entire range of BMW 5 Series Plug-in Hybrid Vehicles, which has been in operation since July 2019. Since 2017, BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand has assembled four BMW plug-in hybrid models at Amata City Industrial Estate, Rayong province. “It is a major honor for us to be entrusted with the production of high-voltage batteries for BMW Group Thailand. With 53 years of supplier partnership at the global level, we are very pleased to expand our alliance and partnership with BMW Group Manufacturing Thailand,” said Mr. Gerhard Irnesberger, Plant Director Dräxlmaier Group Thailand.