ICONIQ Motors Joins Hands With Regional Giants to Expand in Southeast Asia

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【Summary】Chinese electric vehicle startup ICONIQ Motors has partnered with Thai automobile company BIG WORLD and the Southeast Asian telecommunications company OBON to develop 5G-based autonomous driving technology in Thailand's Free Trade Zone.

FutureCar Staff    Dec 05, 2021 8:30 AM PT
ICONIQ Motors Joins Hands With Regional Giants to Expand in Southeast Asia

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(CapitalWatch, Oct. 28, New York) ICONIQ Motors, a leading smart electric vehicle (EV) company in China, recently signed memorandums of understanding with the Thai automobile company BIG WORLD and the Southeast Asian telecommunications company OBON.

Supported by OBON 5G technology, ICONIQ and BIG WORLD will work together to develop smart city operations and 5G-based autonomous driving in Thailand's Free Trade Zone. This partnership also marks ICONIQ's official entry into the Southeast Asian market.

The partnership between the three companies is mutually beneficial as BIG WORLD can leverage ICONIQ's technologies in order to promote the development of the smart vehicle industry in Thailand. OBON, a well-known telecommunications company in Southeast Asia, is also committed to promoting the development application of 5G technologies in Thailand and other countries in the region. 

BIG WORLD plans to order 20,000 cars from ICONIQ, and deliveries are expected within three years. Both companies are also considering plans to localize production facilities and research and development of autonomous driving technology, to support the local economy.

Thailand is an attractive place to pilot these developments because of its rapid development of a 5G network and intelligent infrastructure and its place at the center of regional auto manufacturing and export in Southeast Asia. The partnership between ICONIQ, OBON, and BIG WORLD along with the setting could make the widespread application of autonomous driving a reality sooner.

The Thai government has approved dozens of projects related to electric vehicle production worth over $1.1 billion and pledged support to EV manufacturing via tax subsidies, land banks, and skilled labor, hoping to fully electrify the nation's new car fleet by 2025.

Thailand's efforts to upgrade the country into a clean energy vehicle manufacturing and sales hub benefits ICONIQ because of the company's capability to meet the local industry's demands. In addition to cooperating with local partners, ICONIQ has analyzed the local industrial policies, laws, regulations, and technical requirements to be adaptive to Thailand and Southeast Asia.

iconiq 7.jpeg

The luxury-electric ICONIQ 7 from ICONIQ Motors is focused on the passenger experience.

As these cars continue to grow in popularity, software is becoming equally if not more important than hardware, and digitization is becoming increasingly important in the industry worldwide. ICONIQ's vehicles can show the direction of smart EV development, an industry seeing rapid advancement and success recently. The company's designs aim to provide passenger-focused amenities and incorporate technology including an on-board control system, multiple sensors, and autonomous driving.

ICONIQ plans to go public in the U.S. through a merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) as soon as this year. The combined company could reportedly be valued at around $4 billion. The company also plans to continue its efforts to lead the global smart EV industry with its foundation and relationships in the Middle East.

Through the region's shifting focus on clean energy and ICONIQ's strategic relationship with the Dubai-based automotive company W Motors, the company has strong potential for expansion in the Middle East. 

When the second generation of the Seven debuted at the Shanghai auto show in 2019, Dubai's Safe City Group, which provides turnkey in-house public safety and security solutions in the United Arab Emirates, placed a 5,000-unit order. ICONIQ said it has received written interests for over 60,000 units in total from high-profile corporate clients including the UAE market.

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