Another Chinese EV Manufacturer Lands in Mexico: SEV Will Build Its Affordable EVs in Durango
Mexico’s cheapest EV will now be built in North America in SEV’s new plant in Durango
SEV, a Mexican brand selling Chinese-made cars, arrived in Mexico in 2022 and brought its E-Wan in August 2023, making it the cheapest EV in the country. Now, the company has announced it will start local production of this vehicle (and two others) in 2025.
The Arrival of SEV
SEV is a Mexican brand developed by local solar panel producer Solarever, born in 2022 to expand the company into the EV market. The brand offers three Chinese-made, locally branded EVs: the city car E-Wan, the sedan E-Tus, and the Minivan E-Nat:
The E-Wan took over the JAC E10X (priced $25,480) as Mexico’s cheapest EV, while the E-Tus and E-Nat offer competitive vehicles in their respective segments, albeit still far more expensive than comparable ICE options.
SEV’s Plant in Durango
Mexico has the most competitive car manufacturing industry in Latin America, and one of the most competitive in the world, with access to a lot of large markets (thanks to many free trade agreements), including the US and most of Latin America.
Perhaps this is why some Chinese manufacturers have been landing in the country before even testing the market. That was the case with JAC, which opened its assembly line before offering its EVs (and now boasts the most-sold EV in the country). And it will be the case with SEV, for the company announced a 6.8 billion MXN investment ($400 million) to build up a factory in Durango that will be finished before 2025 and start producing the three models that same year. The company expects to produce up to 5,000 cars in the first year, and up to 50,000 after three years, but the number could change according to demand.
It is good to see Mexico’s EV landscape grow and diversify. A lot of legacy automakers (including Kia, BMW, and VW) have been investing in EV production lines in the country, which will come online in 2025–2026. GM, Stellantis, and Ford, meanwhile, are already producing Ultium models, the RAM Promaster, and the Mach-E, respectively. Tesla, of course, is planning on Gigafactory Mexico … at some point. And now, small, lesser-known Chinese brands are arriving, allying with local companies to start production and get a heads-up in the heated competition to come. Only BYD is missing, as it seems the company has prioritized Brazil for now.
In any case, I’ve said it before and I’m saying it now: all this investment is moot if local production is unable to bring down prices. At their current price points, EVs are hardly ever going to surpass 10% market share. I hope SEV is able to bring the E-Wan’s price closer to its ICE competition, which includes the Fiat Mobi ($14,600), the Hyundai i10, and the Nissan March (both for $15,090), amongst others.
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