BYD to build second factory in Europe despite EV slowdown

BYD to build second factory in Europe despite EV slowdown

Despite a notable slowdown in the electric vehicle (EV) market, Chinese automotive giant BYD Company Ltd. is determined to push ahead with its plans to set up its second factory in Europe.

In an interview at the recently-held Top Marques Auto Show in Monaco, Stella Li, Vice President (VP) for Europe & the Americas, declared that the Chinese automaker remained committed to building a second factory in Europe. She also revealed that the planned second factory will initially be used to produce and roll out plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) as the EV market slowed down.

However, automaker is still studying where it can set up a new EV factory in Europe. Speaking on the topic, Li just said that BYD would invest in the second factory when the time is ready. BYD's first European factory, which is in Hungary, will commence production by the end of 2025.

Li also shrugged off the European Union’s probe into Chinese EVs. Amidst snowballing EV imports from China, European leader are claiming that manufacturers like BYD and MG are enjoying Chinese government’s unfair subsidies, which are hurting local EV manufacturers. The European Union is expected to reveal new tariffs on China-made EVs as early as this week. The new tariffs on China-made electric cars would likely take effect in July 2024.

When asked for a comment, Li said, “When your competition worries about you, that means that you're super good.”

With sales of electric cars are on the downside in a number of EU countries, BYD is launching PHEVs (plug-in hybrid vehicles) like the Seal U DM-i, which made its presence felt at the Monaco event. Such vehicles come equipped with a combustion engine as well as a midsize electric battery that can be recharged through plug-in technology. According to market experts, PHEVs can be more attractive to people who want to ditch internal combustion engines but are concerned about not having sufficient charging stations and have anxiety about the range of electric cars.

BYD’s commitment to establishing a second factory in Europe, even amid slowdown of the EV market, underscores its adaptability and potential to grow even in adverse conditions. By focusing on PHEVs, the automaker will set the stage for broader acceptance of electric technology. In short, the company seems quite confident on the future of sustainable mobility in the European region.

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