BYD has been challenging the US manufacturer’s premium models, the South China Morning Post reports
Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD has launched a sport-utility vehicle (SUV) model to take on Tesla’s Shanghai-made Model Y, the South China Morning Post reported on Monday.
The SUV, which was unveiled on Friday at the Guangzhou Auto Show, is part of BYD’s new premium Sea Lion brand. Named Sea Lion 07, the fully electric SUV will be priced between 200,000 yuan ($27,879) and 260,000 yuan ($36,270), according to the report. It is fitted with BYD’s in-house-developed DiSus body control system, which minimizes the risk of vehicle rollover during high-speed cornering.
Analysts told the outlet that BYD has been targeting the established models produced by Tesla, which is the current leader in China’s premium EV segment. They expect the competition between the two manufacturers to intensify.
“It will become a tit-for-tat race when BYD builds vehicles similar to Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y,” Chen Jinzhu, chief executive of the consultancy Shanghai Mingliang Auto Service, told the South China Morning Post. “It will be a stern challenge for Tesla because BYD now enjoys a cost advantage over its US rival.”
BYD, which is backed by Berkshire Hathaway, displaced Tesla as the world’s largest EV maker last year. However, most of its pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars reportedly target low- and middle-income wage earners in mainland China who can afford a price tag of 100,000 yuan ($13,950) to 150,000 yuan ($20,925). Meanwhile, the price range for Tesla’s Model Y, assembled at its Gigafactory in Shanghai, starts at 266,400 yuan ($37,160), the report notes.
In April, BYD unveiled its premium model Yangwang U8, which has a starting price of 1.1 million yuan ($153,400). After the official launch in mid-September, the company has already received over 30,000 orders for the super luxury model.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT’s business section
November 21, 2023 at 11:02AM