“BYD is in a unique position”
Of all the new Chinese brands entering the European market, there are reasons to take BYD more seriously than the rest. In 2022, it was the second-largest manufacturer of BEVs in the world, just behind Tesla. It has plans to build a factory in Europe and is putting a fleet strategy in place. We ask Head of Corporate Sales & Used Cars Eris Yahsi.
In Europe, BYD is available in dedicated markets only. Which countries are next? And why this step-by-step approach to getting a foothold in Europe?
"BYD is available in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands and Belgium. We just started in Paris, and we are currently opening stores in some German cities before a full entry into Germany. In 2023, more European countries will follow. For its marketing and distribution in each country, BYD builds a solid foundation with local partners."
"These partners are strong, well-known and experienced in every field and are BYD’s local eyes and ears. They have direct contact with our customers allowing them to expect quick answers to their questions. Through its electric bus department, BYD has an already longstanding experience in Europe and has been successfully working with different countries. We wish to do the same with our passenger cars."
Which strategy does BYD deploy to move into the fleet market?
"We believe in a broad-based partnership and cooperation to be successful in the fleet channel, which leads from the customer to leasing - if the car is leased, of course - to the dealer to BYD. In this chain, every shackle greatly influences a well-organized information flow to ensure continuity for the customer's mobility needs."
"In this structure, it is essential to know the needs for a stable partnership. Expectations must be well-managed. To give you an example: the impact for a customer can be huge if the mobility need is not met to his or her expectations. Due to a lack of cars or spare parts, they may not be able to fulfil their contractual obligations to their customers, which eventually can harm their sales and profits."
"Therefore, it is crucial that communication between different stakeholders is well-aligned and that we provide each other with the right and reliable information. This is becoming increasingly important and is crucial for long-term success. Securing this process also comes down to those solid local partnerships, as previously mentioned. Besides strong dealers, we are building on a strong European fleet team with a mix of experience, knowledge, specialism and enthusiasm... but above all, we want to be reliable. BYD has the determination to do it well."
One of BYD’s strongholds is the Atto 3. Can you share some of its USPs?
"The Atto 3 embodies our brand positioning: premium, accessible, tech-driven, sustainable and new energy vehicles-only. As a spacious C-segment SUV, it is designed with the European customer in mind. As a pure electric car it is equipped with the innovative cobalt-free lithium-iron-phosphate Blade Battery. The pack is revolutionary in terms of safety, durability and performance. The Atto 3 also comes with a highly efficient heat pump as standard. And let’s not forget safety, with a five-star rating in Euro NCAP. It’s also readily available in the markets we’ve entered."
BYD is the first Chinese brand planning to build a factory in Europe. To safeguard sales from possible protectionist measures from the EU?
"To make it clear, BYD hasn’t had any solid plan to build a factory in Europe. At this moment, we’re looking into possibilities and making a feasibility study, because, in the future, we want to be closer to the important European market. BYD has entered Europe to stay there, to invest in the continent, in the markets, in the people and also in European society as a whole by helping tackle the challenges of climate change. It’s our vision to help cool the earth by 1 degree Celsius. A local factory would help BYD to grow into a brand that can meet all the critical desires of the European consumer."
As a new-entry brand in Europe, your current line-up still faces uncertain residual values. Which signals do you get?
"Residual value is a very important component in the lease rate. But, above all, it gives you a good indication of how the "outside world" thinks about your products and services. The initial feedbacks we get are very promising. We also work with independent companies such as Autovista and Cap Insight. They advise us on product improvement. But, as the award-winning Atto 3, Han and Tang show, we can already compete with established brands."
What can BYD do to incorporate and improve sustainability?
"We’re in a unique position, really. BYD is the only manufacturer to design and manufacture the core components of its electric cars, owning the vertical supply chain for seamless integration and total manufacturing control. Combined with our position as the world’s leading manufacturer of new energy vehicles and power batteries, we have a lot of leverage to make our sustainable vision a reality."
"BYD has already established a zero-emission energy ecosystem. It comprises affordable solar power generation, reliable energy storage and cutting-edge electrified transportation. It shows how innovation and commitment are at the heart of the company. Again, our Blade Battery demonstrates this, bringing new levels of durability, safety and performance."
Image Source: BYD