Automobile

BYD starts in autumn: China brand comes to Germany

With BYD, a Chinese manufacturer is starting to sell its cars in this country. The brand is no longer the only one.

BYD is still unknown to us, but the company should not be underestimated: 640,000 e-mobiles and plug-in hybrids sold in the first half of 2022 make the Chinese brand the world’s largest e-car manufacturer, ahead of Tesla. And this year BYD will start in Germany.

An electric SUV to start with

From October, the middle-class SUV Tang in the electric version should come onto the market. The brand flagship Han, a business sedan with an electric range of up to 600 kilometers, could follow later. The first vehicles should go to customers before the end of the year.

Sales partner in Europe is Hedin Mobility. Parallel to Germany, the BYD cars are also to come to Sweden. Among other things, flagship stores are planned in major cities in both countries, and the first “BYD Pioneering Store” is to be built in Stockholm.

Growth in Europe

BYD is no longer the only manufacturer from China who wants to break into the market. While earlier attempts had failed due to poor quality and devastating crash test results, the companies have now acquired enough knowledge to be able to prove themselves in comparison with VW, BMW or Audi.

Chinese involved in well-known brands

The Swedish brand Volvo has been part of the Geely Group since 2010. This resulted, among other things, in the electric brand Polestar. Geely is also represented in Europe with its Lynk & Co. brand and relies on direct sales without car dealerships.
The state-owned company BAIC has a 20 percent stake in Daimler. In addition, the new smart SUV #1 is being developed in cooperation with Geely in China.

Mini is cooperating with Great Wall Motors on the next generation of its classic: The combustion variant is to be built in Oxford, UK, and the electric version in China

The traditional British brand MG has belonged to SAIC, the seventh largest car manufacturer in the world, since 2005 and has been offering the electric station wagon MG5 since 2021. The crossover MG4 is to follow at the end of the year.

New brands conquer Europe and the world

There are also numerous new brands that are already available here: The Aiways brand sells the U5 from just under 36,000 euros. With a length of 4.68 meters, it is on par with the VW ID 4. Its battery has a capacity of 63 kWh and the range is 410 kilometers.

Two other newcomers are Ora and Wey. Both belong to Great Wall Motors and want to conquer the market starting this year. And then there are start-ups like Nio with an innovative exchangeable battery system (should come at the end of the year) or Xpeng.

But all that glitters is not gold here either: the start-up Byton has now had to give up, and the American-Chinese joint venture Faraday Future is also currently looking for investors to raise the millions needed to start production.

Good chance of success

Overall, industry experts see good opportunities for the Chinese in Europe and even in Germany, where customers are traditionally still tied to well-known brands. For one thing, Chinese cars are generally cheaper than the competition from Europe. There are also production advantages: “The heart of the electric car is the battery, and it is now located in China. These are good prerequisites for Chinese car manufacturers,” says automotive economist Prof. Ferdinand Dudenhöffer.

He certifies that the newcomers have a quality that is now on a par with the established brands. The Chinese may also be better prepared for the future: “The Chinese are way ahead when it comes to software solutions. And they will become increasingly important in the future.”

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