Chinese manufacturer BYD is now one of the largest producers of electric vehicles in the world. These cars are increasingly being exported. The brand is also targeting Germany – possibly with local production?
BYD’s founder, Wang Chuanfu, appeared on the big stage at an online event in September last year. He presented electric cars of the Chinese manufacturer, which are new to the European market, the first from BYD in Europe: These include two SUVs and Atto 3 and Tang models and a sedan called Han. All futuristic designed in bright colors, in blue, in red. With brown leather seats, a large laptop-like display on the front and, of course, the centerpiece: a high-tech battery.
It all started with the battery
BYD – Biyada in Chinese – is also the motto of the car company: “Build Your Dreams”. Translated: Make your dreams come true. The dream of an electric car started at BYD 20 years ago. The company was already known at the time for its rechargeable batteries. These were built into digital cameras and mobile phones, for example. Then, in 2003, BYD founder Wang Chuanfu came up with the idea of using batteries to build his own electric cars.
On the heels of rival Tesla
First BYD built electric bus and combustion cars. Then in 2008 the first electric car, a plug-in hybrid. China’s battery technology is still a competitive advantage today, says China’s automotive expert Zhong Shi from Beijing: “With batteries manufactured in-house, it was possible to switch the battery industry to electric vehicles seamlessly. This is a special competition that no Manufacturers other Chinese automakers have.”
In China itself, no other company sells as many electric vehicles as BYD, including cars and buses, for example. In the international comparison, BYD also meets its direct competitor from the US, the manufacturer Tesla. The two are the same age, founded in 2003. Tesla still sells the cleanest electric cars in the world. However, if you add plug-in hybrids, which have an internal combustion engine as well as an electric drive, BYD will have overtaken Tesla in terms of sales in 2022.
New opportunities in the electric age
The Chinese automaker is now also pushing its electric cars into the European and German markets. BYD’s plan is to sell a total of 120,000 electric cars in Germany by 2026. They should also be available for lease. In autumn, car rental company Sixt announced a partnership with BYD. Sixt wants to buy 100,000 electric cars from the Chinese company in the coming years.
Chinese car expert Zhong Shi hopes that BYD can promote itself in the European market: “In the era of gasoline cars, Chinese car companies had no place in Europe, especially in the German market,” he says. “But after the start of the electric era, BYD will have the opportunity to compete in the German market.”
Would you like to locate a Ford factory in Saarlouis?
The manufacturer’s plans go beyond selling cars. As the “Wall Street Journal” recently reported, BYD is said to be interested in buying Ford’s factory in Saarlouis, Saarland. No more cars will be made there in 2025 because the American group produces its new electric cars in Valencia. Apparently Ford and BYD are already in talks about the area. BYD wanted this at the request of ARD don’t give your opinion. However, it is known that BYD is considering producing in Europe as well – and is looking at locations.