Sunday, April 21, 2024

BYD Says “Hold My Beer” to Tesla, Unveils Supercar and Budget-Friendly Hatchback in One Week

HomeAutomotiveBYD Says “Hold My Beer” to Tesla, Unveils Supercar and Budget-Friendly Hatchback...

Chinese automaker BYD, which recently surpassed Tesla in global electric vehicle sales, made major headlines this week by unveiling vehicles on both ends of the pricing spectrum – a $230,000 luxury supercar aimed at models from Ferrari and Lamborghini and an affordable $14,000 hatchback.

The moves showcase BYD’s versatility in producing vehicles ranging from ultra-expensive to budget-friendly as it continues its meteoric rise to compete head-to-head with the likes of Tesla.

BYD’s New $233K Supercar Gunning for Ferrari & Lamborghini

Over the weekend, BYD officially launched its most expensive vehicle yet under its premium Yangwang brand – the Yangwang U9 supercar priced at 1.68 million yuan ($233,450).

The electric vehicle is designed to rival top-shelf supercars from the likes of Ferrari and Lamborghini. BYD says the U9 can accelerate from 0-60 mph in just 2.36 seconds with a top speed of 309 km/h (192 mph).

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Videos showcasing the vehicle’s launch event and test drives quickly went viral on Chinese social media. They demonstrate the U9 drifting, spinning in place, and even “dancing” thanks to its incredible torque vectoring capabilities.

For now, the futuristic-looking supercar will only be available in China. But there is often a loophole where traders purchase luxury vehicles not officially sold overseas and export them to foreign customers seeking exotic Chinese autos as status symbols. So it’s possible the U9 may eventually end up in international markets hungry for a Tesla-beating EV flagship.

New $14K Version of BYD’s Popular Hatchback Aimed at Budget Buyers

In contrast to its pricey supercar, BYD also unveiled a more affordable version of its popular Dolphin hatchback model this week. Starting at just $13,865, the new Dolphin targets budget-conscious EV buyers.

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BYD sold over 367,000 Dolphin models last year, a 79% year-over-year increase cementing it as one of BYD’s top-selling vehicles internationally. The more affordable trim level will likely further boost Dolphin sales in 2023. It also shows that while BYD reaches into the luxury space with machines like the U9, it remains focused on producing inexpensive, mass-market vehicles for global consumers.

BYD’s Meteoric Rise Presents Challenges for Tesla & Other Automakers

BYD setting its sights on supercar marques like Ferrari while also churning out ultra-affordable hatchbacks poses a major threat to automakers at both ends of the pricing spectrum – especially Tesla.

No company highlights the rapid success of Chinese EV startups more than BYD. It continues expanding manufacturing hubs across the globe, including Europe, Southeast Asia, and soon possibly North America. BYD’s cheap production costs and ability to undercut competitors on pricing has legacy automakers scrambling.

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Backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, BYD grew from a $230 million investment in 2008 to over $9.5 billion in value today – a 40X return in about 15 years. The late Berkshire executive Charlie Munger attributed BYD’s ascendance largely to its legendary founder Wang Chuanfu, describing him as a “combination of Thomas Edison and Jack Welch.”

Despite its momentum, BYD still faces challenges as it moves into new markets like trade barriers, regulations, loyalty to legacy brands, and potential labor issues. But with vehicles now competitive with even the likes of Ferrari and sales eclipsing Tesla, BYD has clearly arrived as a major global player that’s only just getting started making waves worldwide.

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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