Chinese automaker BYD targets VW and Hyundai in Europe

BYD executives described the brand’s positioning as “accessible premium.” The Tang 4-wheel drive, 380 kW 7-seater is offered in Norway at the equivalent of 64,000 euros; a 240 kW full electric BMW iX SUV starts in Norway at the equivalent of 86,500 euros.

The Atto 3, expected to be BYD’s bestseller in Europe, is on a new platform (e-platform 3.0) which includes a standard heat pump and an electric powertrain which integrates the motor, inverter , the power electronics and the on-board charger. The price of the Chinese version of the Atto 3, called Yuan Plus, starts from the equivalent of 22,500 euros before subsidies.

Yang said BYD’s benchmarks in Europe are mainstream brands such as Volkswagen and Hyundai/Kia, both of which have launched new EV models on dedicated architecture over the past year.

He said BYD’s biggest selling point may be its battery technology. The company, which was founded in 1995 as a battery manufacturer and only turned to car production in 2003, is the third largest producer of batteries for electric vehicles after CATL and LG.

BYD achieved a turnover of 31.4 billion euros in 2021; it is listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and has a market value of around 120 billion euros, the third highest after Tesla and Toyota. Berkshire Hathaway’s Warren Buffett is a major investor, with an estimated $8 billion stake.

In Europe, BYD will also be competing against a wave of Chinese rivals, many of which are just electric vehicles. They include SAIC’s MG, Nio, Aiways, XPeng, Hongqi and Great Wall. Analyst Matthias Schmidt said this month that Chinese brands could find an opening in mainstream segments, based on what he called “disappointing” premium electric vehicle sales in Norway, which has the highest all-electric penetration of any market in Europe and is seen often. as a test bed for electric vehicle brands.

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