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China’s BYD fires up NEV offerings to compete with Tesla and Jeep

BYD unveiled three new cars for its Fang Cheng Bao brand on April 16, 2024 in Shenzhen. This vehicle, the Super 3 SUV, comes with a drone port on its roof.

CNBC | Evelyn Cheng

SHENZHEN – Chinese electric car company BYD is rapidly expanding its lineup to include vehicles that compete with traditional automakers in the mass market, You’re here on the premium side and Jeep in the off-road segment.

BYD on Tuesday unveiled three new cars for its Fang Cheng Bao brand: a “Leopard 8” off-road SUV, a “Super 3” SUV for city driving and a “Super 9” sports car.

The company has not announced pricing. Instead, BYD presented the vehicles primarily as concept cars and hinted that further details would be released at next week’s Beijing auto show. It was not immediately clear to what extent the new cars would be fully electric.

BYD launched its Fang Cheng Bao brand last summer with a focus on “personalized consumer needs”, especially in the field of off-road vehicles and sports cars. The brand’s first vehicle, a hybrid-powered off-road SUV called “Leopard 5”, was launched in November with a starting price of around 290,000 yuan ($40,845).

Nearly 20,000 Leopard 5 vehicles have since been delivered, the company said on Tuesday.

BYD also sells an off-road SUV and a sports car under its luxury Yangwang brand, launched early last year to target consumers willing to spend around 1 million yuan or more per car.

Most BYD cars belong to the mass market segment and rank among the best-selling new energy vehicles in China. The category includes battery-only cars and hybrid cars.

“Over the past 20 years, our continuous technological innovation and disruption have set multiple benchmarks for the industry,” Lian Yubo, chief scientist at BYD, said in Mandarin at Tuesday’s launch event, according to a translation from CNBC.

“The Blade battery sets the benchmark for safety. DM-i set the benchmark for power consumption, DiSus set the benchmark for total vehicle control,” Lian said, referring to the various systems technologies that BYD has launched in recent years.

For off-road vehicles, Lian touted BYD technology that allows cars to run on hybrid power.

BYD car launches come amid fierce competition in China’s new energy vehicle market. Chinese smartphone manufacturer Xiaomi last month, launched its first electric car, aimed directly at Tesla’s Model 3.

Chinese automakers, including BYD, are also targeting the global market. This month, BYD announced plans to launch an electric pickup truck overseas this year.

The Leopard 8 is one of three cars from BYD’s Fang Cheng Bao brand unveiled in Shenzhen on April 16, 2024.

CNBC | Evelyn Cheng


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