BYD Expands Euro Lineup, Denies Unfair Subsidies

Chinese electric-vehicle-maker BYD Auto introduces a new supercar and a people-mover van at the Geneva auto show, amidst allegations the company is “dumping” EVs.

David Kiley, Senior Editor

February 27, 2024

2 Min Read
BYD Yangwang U9 meant to worry Ferrari.

Chinese EV maker BYD is is expected to announce a 4 million to 4.2 million-unit sales forecast for this year, according to news reports in China, likely passing Tesla for global electric-vehicle sales leadership in 2024. Two million will be battery-electric vehicles and another 2.2 million will be plug-in hybrid electric vehicles,  reports Chinese media outlet

Meantime, the company this week announces new models for Europe at the Geneva auto show: the D9 minivan, which is meant to compete against the Lexus LM, Volvo EM90 and Toyota Alphard; and a luxury, BEV supercar, the Yangwang U9, with a price tag of over $233,000, which is meant to give Ferrari buyers something new to think about.

BYD is growing fast. In 2023, BYD sold 3,024,417 New Energy Vehicles, up 62.3% year-on-year, according to the company’s financial report. Of these, BYD sold 3,012,906 passenger NEVs and 11,511 commercial NEVs. The Chinese NEV maker had sales of 1,574,822 passenger BEVs and 1,438,084 passenger PHEVs in 2023. BYD is on track to challenge Tesla for the global BEV sales crown in 2024.

Tesla, which produces only BEVs, delivered 1,808,581 units worldwide in 2023. In the fourth quarter of 2023, BYD's quarterly passenger BEV sales of 526,409 units surpassed Tesla's 484,507 units for the first time.

BYD is yet to enter the lucrative U.S. market but is scouting assembly plant locations in Mexico to serve as a launching point. Its business is already growing in Europe, though, and the European Commission is fielding complaints from European carmakers that the Chinese juggernaut is receiving subsidies from its government that give it an unfair advantage in pricing.

BYD denies the accusations. “Our success is not because of the subsidy, it’s because we have unique technology. . . and our management efficiency is high,” says Michael Shu, European president of BYD at the Geneva show.  “It’s because we invested in this technology much earlier, and much more, than competitors. It’s not because of the subsidy,” he adds, in the company’s first public comment on the probe launched last year.

Still, the EC’s investigation is widely expected to lead to higher tariffs. Automakers such as Renault and Stellantis have complained that the influx of cheaper Chinese EVs will undercut those produced by European carmakers. In the U.S., lawmakers are making noise about changing the existing trade agreement with Mexico to carve out an exception for Chinese automakers that might otherwise get around tariffs designed to keep them out of the U.S. by building vehicles and batteries south of the U.S. border.

Shares of BYD Auto have been rising on a new proposal by the company’s management to double its share buybacks.

About the Author(s)

David Kiley

Senior Editor, WardsAuto

David Kiley is an award winning journalist. Prior to joining WardsAuto, Kiley held senior editorial posts at USA Today, Businessweek, AOL Autos/Autoblog and Adweek, as well as being a contributor to Forbes, Fortune, Popular Mechanics and more.

Subscribe to a WardsAuto newsletter today!
Get the latest automotive news delivered daily or weekly. With 5 newsletters to choose from, each curated by our Editors, you can decide what matters to you most.

You May Also Like