BMW might build a battery factory in Thailand. According to Thai Industry Minister Atchaka Sibunruang, the German automaker is considering building the plant for about $57 million, with construction beginning in the middle of 2017. Thailand is discussing possible tax incentives for BMW, says Atchaka, with the hopes of making the country friendlier to plug-in hybrids. "Hybrid vehicles are still expensive now but once there is a factory established and batteries are available this will make it affordable for consumers." Read more from Automotive News Europe.
Samsung is investing $449 million in BYD. Shanghai Samsung Semiconductor bought 52.3 million shares of BYD, which will use the funds to expand its battery production and for research and development of alternatively powered vehicles. Samsung is leveraging its recent investments in the auto industry to make up for slowdowns in other electronics hardware. Samsung says its investment in BYD will help grow its semiconductor business. The purchase by Samsung and other investors dilutes BYD Founder, Chairman, and CEO Wang Chuanfu's stake by almost two percent, down to 18.8 percent. Read more from Automotive News.