BYD Enters South Korean Market, Could The Auto Giant Expand Elsewhere Too?

4 months ago by Eric Loveday 13

BYD Tang

BYD Tang

The world’s largest electric vehicle maker, by sales volume, has secured rights to sell its EVs in South Korea.

BYD Qin EV300

BYD Qin EV300

As Korea Times reports:

“BYD completed the registration of its corporate body under the name of “BYD Korea LLC” last month. The headquarters are on the nation’s island of Jeju.”

“BYD Korea is reportedly securing dealership chains in Korea to speed up its sales operation.”

This is a big move for BYD, as previously sales had been mostly limited to China.

If successful, this could lead to further expansion of the EV-giant selling its passenger plug-ins into more countries.  BYD already has a sizable presence in the US for its ebuses (of which some are built in Lancaster, California).  The idea of the plug-in hybrid Tang, an AWD SUV with a 0-100km/ h (0-62 mph) time of 4.9 seconds, a 80 km (50 mile) range, and a price under $50k is an intriguing offering.

Aside from cars and SUVs, BYD signed a bus contract with Korea’s Suncore. This contract allows for the import of 1,000 BYD K9 electric buses into South Korea.

South Korea’s electric vehicle market ins’t huge, but BYD will likely fare well there as its electric offerings are typically much more affordable than those form other automakers seeking to sell EVs there.

Source: Korea Times

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14 responses to "BYD Enters South Korean Market, Could The Auto Giant Expand Elsewhere Too?"

  1. Yogurt says:

    BYD already sells cars in South America, Eastern Europe, and the Middle East just not a whole lot of them and they are mostly ICE…
    I do think it is only a matter of time befor they try Europe as a whole and the US but they should do EV only for that…
    It would be nice even for China if they did a BEV version of the Tang as there PHEV sales are falling and being replaced by more BEV sales…

  2. Mikael says:

    “South Korea’s electric vehicle market ins’t huge, but BYD will likely fare well there as its electric offerings are typically much more affordable than those form other automakers seeking to sell EVs there.”

    According to the EV-sales blog the following are the top sellers in South Korea. All are cheaper than the BYD Tang. And the only other offering besides the Tang that could be considered premium is the BMW i3 (and even that is a stretch).

    Affordable? No, it will be alone in the more expensive premium segment. Until Tesla gets there that is.

    1. Hyundai Ioniq Electric
    2. Kia Soul EV
    3. Renault Samsung SM3 ZE
    4. BMW i3
    5. Chevrolet Spark EV
    6. Nissan Leaf
    7. Chevrolet Volt
    8. Renault Samsung Twizy

    1. Yogurt says:

      I think the Tang is the most expensive one they sell…
      They do have multiple plugin cars though…
      Quin PHEV
      E6 BEV
      E5 BEV which is a striped down cheaper version of the Quin EV300
      Quin EV300 BEV
      They were also supposed to release two small BEV SUVs this year the Song and Yuan…

      1. Mikael says:

        That is true, my mistake. But even then most of them will be in about the same price areas as current offering.

    2. JyBicycleOrTesla says:

      Don’t forget Tesla and the Bolt EV coming in a few months. The Bolt EV can go from Seoul to Busan, nonstop.

      Can BYD compete in Korea where name brand is king?

      1. Mikael says:

        No foreign brand is having an easy time in South Korea. So it won’t be easier for BYD, especially not since they don’t have that global recognition like for example BMW either.

  3. jimijonjack says:

    Pure “EV” or Nothing for Me.

  4. Bob Nan says:

    This could be a game changer.
    But the trio of Hyundai-Ioniq and Kia-Niro could take on the challenge if priced economically.

    Markets get more interesting now.

  5. Viking79 says:

    They need these in the US, look at the performance figures of those cars, the Qin is like a Volt that will do 0-60 in 5.9 seconds for no more money. I wish US makers would catch on to the fact that EVs would sell if the had some performance oriented features, etc. Tesla figured that out quickly, everyone else has been a little slow.

    LiFePO4 has higher power density than NMC so that is helping them, but most of the EVs in the US are a measly 75 kw or so. The Bolt and i3 are good, and the Volt is decent, but I would like to see more around the level of the Bolt.

    1. SparkEV says:

      By everyone else, you mean GM? SparkEV is quicker than any car under $20K in 0-60, and by any car, that includes all gas cars. Bolt is somewhat less compared to its peers in price range, but it’s no slouch.

      If you’re talking about lack of performance, look to Asian and European makers. Most Asian EV are around 10 seconds 0-60. eGolf is similar, and i3 is also slow for its price. And let’s not forget almost 13 seconds for iMiev and SmartED.

      2014 SparkEV had 21 kWh LFP battery while 2015/2016 had 19 kWh of NMC. Both cars are rated for same power at 105 kW. Power density seem to matter little between those chemistries when it comes to SparkEV.

      1. EVA-01 says:

        The Spark EV sold for around $25,000. Why are you discounting other cars by the Spark EV to vehicles sold for under $20,000?

        A more reasonable comparison would be to compare vehicles in the $25,000 category and below, not start off with under $20,000.

  6. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Well, let’s see: Comparing average annual incomes, S. Korea comes just under Italy, and less than Spain and other major European countries.

    Not sure if S. Korea qualifies as a “First World” country or not, but it’s at least getting close.

    I think it’s inevitable that BYD will enter the EU market, and probably eventually the U.S. market too. Glad to see this company taking a step closer. Just a few years ago, the BYD e6 was described as being of such poor build quality (not quality control, but quality of components, finish, and engineering) that comparing it to a typical American or European made car was just embarrassing to BYD. But it’s been said that BYD has really “upped its game” in the past few years, and they really needed to.

    We need more EV makers which are actually dedicated to making EVs rather than gasmobiles! Tesla needs some robust competition, which currently they’re not getting (with the possible exception of the Bolt).

    So I look forward to BYD selling PEVs in first-world countries. I realize that BYD does make some gasmobiles, but if my understanding is correct, their main products are batteries, BEVs, and PHEVs.

    1. SparkEV says:

      South Korea has higher per capita GDP than Spain. When you consider purchasing power parity, South Korea is higher than both Spain and Italy. As such, South Korea is firmly in first world category.

      An interesting side note is that South Korean military spending is roughly Spain and Italy combined.

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