Minister of Social Development and Human Security Juti Krairerk test drives a taxi made by Great Wall Motors in Bangkok on Sept. 2, 2020.

BANGKOK (Xinhua) — Thailand’s Board of Investment (BOI) on Wednesday announced that China-based Great Wall Motors (GWM) had signed a share sale and purchase agreement with General Motors (GM) to acquire the latter’s production facilities in Rayong.

GWM earlier told the Thai media that it aims to make Thailand its ASEAN (the Association of Southeast Asian Nations) production base for domestic sales and export of new energy vehicles and internal-combustion engine models.

GWM plans to begin production in the first quarter of 2021, as part of its vision to be a “Global Mobility Technology Company,” said in the BOI announcement.

GWM’s move to set up its production base in Thailand kicked off in February this year when the company started negotiations with GM to acquire, under a signed binding term sheet, GM Thailand and GM Powertrain Thailand legal entities, which include the Rayong vehicle assembly and powertrain facilities.

The two companies reached an agreement recently and officially signed the share sale and purchase agreement.

The Rayong plant will be the 11th full-scale automobile manufacturing base of GWM worldwide.

While the ASEAN automotive industry is clearly on its growth trend, Thailand has strong fundamentals as a leader in this industry and is regarded as one of the world’s best location, said Zhang Jiaming, president of GWM ASEAN Operations.