BYD Looks To Establish Brand Image So That It Can Attract As Much Attention As Tesla

1 year ago by Eric Loveday 30

BYD Qin EV300

BYD Qin EV300

BYD Tang

BYD Tang

After witnessing the success of the Tesla Model 3 reveal, including the hundreds of thousands of reservations received (~400k at last count), BYD has decided to focus on building a brand image that’s similar to that of Tesla.

BYD has perhaps the most extensive lineup of plug-in vehicles of any automaker in the world, yet it’s often overlooked in the electric scene, perhaps due to the fact that it mostly only sells its cars in China.

However, BYD hopes to eventually branch out, but first it must establish its brand image. As Bloomberg reports:

“The maker of the Qin, Tang and Song models, named after three Chinese imperial dynasties, will focus on branding in the next two to three years so that there’s better recognition of the company’s technological leadership, said Stella Li, BYD’s senior vice president.”

Stella Li had this to say following the Model 3 reveal:

“We don’t have the ability now to sell tens of thousands of cars before producing a single one. The day we can do that will be the day our brand is established.”

“What BYD hopes to achieve through its brand image is to position us as a company that’s grounded, will deliver what we promise and one with a long-term target. We don’t seek a moment’s glory or satisfaction, but take a long-term view. BYD hopes to create a business that’ll be around for a hundred years.”

“Wang Chuanfu [BYD CEO] is a marathoner, while Elon Musk is a 100-meter sprinter. A long-distance runner and a sprinter have different abilities and strengths.”

Most months, BYD leads the world in plug-in electric car sales, so obviously the automaker is on the right track, yet it receives little publicity and is an unknown brand to the general public. That brand image/recognition will be BYD’s immediate focus over the next few years, then branching out to include the U.S. for sales seems the next logical step.

Source: Bloomberg

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30 responses to "BYD Looks To Establish Brand Image So That It Can Attract As Much Attention As Tesla"

  1. przemo_li says:

    Battery tech, usual battery sizes?

    1. mr. M says:

      good, big.

      Good: they are originally a battery manufacturer
      Big: they sell the e6 with 60-80kWh.

  2. Skryll says:

    Teslas brand comes from superior end user experience. Make that happen and success will follow.

  3. ffbj says:

    I will not be holding my breath in anticipation of their intention coming to realization.

    1. PVH says:

      Me either…

  4. Kosee says:

    Will they be rolling out a charging network? Do they have cool tech? How’s the customer experience? Tesla wasn’t build on Elon tweets.

  5. Cosmacelf says:

    BYD could leapfrog everyone if they decided to partner with Tesla on the charging network for the US and Europe.

    If they don’t do that, then it’ll be a hard slog. This is the same problem the other EVs have – poor high speed charging network (sites are badly placed, and typically only have a plug or two at any one site).

  6. Someone out there says:

    Make good cars. That is the only way. Cheap knock-offs of Western brands will not cut it.

  7. super390 says:

    China has way too many car companies, if you think concentrated R&D funds are what is needed. Tesla differentiates itself from our Big 3 in many ways to establish itself as THE alternative brand. In China there’s lots of brands, but mostly they look alike and act alike. BYD thought it was good enough to just make an adequate $35,000 EV. That time has passed.

    1. RexxSee says:

      Only 3 makes a good cartel doen’t it? 😉

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      super390 said:

      “China has way too many car companies…”

      Indeed, a big problem there is a lot of small companies that only last a few years, instead of a market dominated by a few large companies which have been in business for decades, as in first-world countries. In fact, just a few years ago, the Chinese government shut down about 90% of their auto makers, apparently with the intention of giving the remainder a better chance to grow to respectable size.

      BYD has clearly grown large enough to overcome that problem. But they still need to seriously improve the quality of their cars if they want to sell them in Europe, the U.S./Canada market, and other first-world countries.

      As someone already said, Tesla didn’t get its reputation for making highly desirable cars by Elon sending out tweets. It earned its reputation by getting an avalanche of rave reviews for its cars.

      Reputation is built on quality, not hype.

  8. Ambulator says:

    I haven’t seen any evidence that lithium ion phosphate can compete in BEVs. If BYD wants to move out of PHEVs and buses they may need to change chemistry.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      LiFePO4 is a great battery chemistry since it is non-toxic and doesn’t need many rare expensive elements.

      That said, the energy density and power density leave something to be desired. So it is a tough sell for a good performing EV.

      1. Seth says:

        Still, you can package 60kWh of it into a car as the Denza proved. As as it’s quite a bit safer in crashes and generally less of a fire hazard you can stretch where you put them in a car.

        If you have 60kWh of LiFePO4 there is more then enough power in the pack for driving, charging is restricted relatively, but the cycle life of the chemistry is quite good.

        If you can design the car around it to make it fit, why not.

        1. Speculawyer says:

          Oh, I agree. It is a nice simple, safe, and nontoxic chemistry mix. It just has some downsides on some performance metrics but if you can pack enough of the batteries into a car, you’ll have a nice EV.

          And it is helps that things like Lithium, Iron, and Phosphate are all pretty cheap & easy to acquire.

  9. jednoucelovy says:

    The front of those cars is hideous. Like a slug after you’ve stepped on it.

    1. Speculawyer says:

      Yeah, I hate it. So busy & mechanical looking. And that stupid pointless big grille. Actually, it is less than pointless, it is counter-productive

      I really like the elegant simplicity of the Model 3 nose. Fewer parts and more aerodynamic. That’s the direction to go in.

  10. James says:

    Might I suggest, as a start, to actually hire a graphic designer for your logo. It looks like when Marissa Mayer redesigned the Yahoo logo herself. Maybe Warren Buffett designed the BYD one.

  11. Rebel44 says:

    They can start by selling EVs to normal consumers in EU and USA…..

  12. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

    It reminds me of an old commercial that I can’t find on youtube. I think it’s a 7up commercial or something. In it, the clueless CEO says “So, what you’re saying is that this new line of shoes will make us so phat, we’ll be sick?”

    Sorry BYD, *you* don’t get to determine whether you’re as cool as Tesla. Except maybe by creating a product so fantastically awesome that nothing else compares. Then the public will find you interesting.

    1. deborah oo7.5 says:

      LOL 🙂 It is good to see EV competition…It means green progress….But to me Tesla is way ahead…

  13. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    Here’s a comment from Vexar posted to another InsideEVs’ article on BYD:

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I’ve driven the BYD electric sports utility vehicle (the e6) on a test track in the USA. It is roomy, the dashboard layout was extremely confusing, it had problems going 40mph, the sensor read-out was flickering with the numbers and on the far side of the car from me all the way over by the mirror, the drive mode control was non-intuitive (the park button was completely occluded by the directional lever and not marked), the stitching on the leather seats was loose enough to have wrinkles and quirks, and the exterior had an unexplained structural pipe about 8″ long in the front left wheel well that nobody understood. The charge port was an unpolished cut-out in the plastic body panel, held on by a loop of flexible plastic and a friction clip. I am quite sure that it was not weather sealed.
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    [end quote]

    Good luck to BYD, but if they want to sell cars in the highly competitive U.S./Canadian market, they’re going to have to “up their game” quite a bit. I’m not saying they can’t; I’m just saying that they’ll need to start making cars with much, much better quality than they do for the Chinese domestic market.

    Chinese manufacturing has a heavily entrenched problem with lack of quality control, and outright counterfeiting of parts, especially electronic parts. Here’s hoping BYD can find a way to succeed in selling EVs in first-world countries despite those handicaps.

    1. Nix says:

      What about the E6? That was an early effort they put out in 2011, and have only sold about 15K units.

      Meanwhile, they’ve sold twice as many Tang’s in just the last 10 months, and nearly 4 times as many Qin’s since just the beginning of 2014.

      The E6 is their old product, and really has very little to do with what BYD has been doing lately. Their main market lately for their old E6 cars is to sell them as Taxi’s. Their actual focus for selling direct to consumers is their Qin and Tang.

      If you don’t know about the success of the Qin and Tang, and think BYD is just the E6, you are showing more about your limited knowledge of BYD, than anything about the company.

      And since when does what some random person on the internet in the comments section suddenly become some sort of authoritative primary source? Are you going to quote my post here every time there is a story about BYD too?

  14. Ian says:

    1. Change the name from BYD.
    2. Fix the front of your cars
    3. Change your name from BYD.

    1. mr. M says:

      I don’t get the naming issue. And the front is cool. They are PHEVs no BEVs.

      1. Ian says:

        Article from The Street
        3. Avoid meaningless strings of letters
        Yes, there’s a chance that your company could become the next IBM ( IBM) or CVS ( CVS). But, in general, it’s a bad idea to choose a string of initials, unless they form a pronounceable acronym like Alcoa ( AA), which stands for Aluminum Company of America.
        “We did a lot of work with a company that was called “NBT Technology,” and literally, in their minds, it meant ‘Next Best Thing,'” says Danny Altman, CEO of A Hundred Monkeys, a branding company in Mill Valley, Calif. “But it was just a string of initials. It didn’t mean anything, and it didn’t distinguish them from the competition.” The company ended up changing its name to “Riverbed,” reflecting both support (the bed) and movement (the river), not to mention the founders’ fondness for flyfishing.

      2. Ian says:

        Sorry, didn’t clue in they were not pure EVs. Airflow still required.

  15. jimstack007 says:

    They give a LIFETIME battery warranty on their Hybrid and Plugin Hybrid. That’s a first in the industry ! KIA and Hyundai both offer it.

    1. windbourne says:

      Does not do any good if the company does not exist in 5 years, or decides to pull out of the market, which is highly likely.

      Far better to have not the warranty, but to have shown that you have quality,
      As opposed to having the paper warranty and being shown as having no quality and no backing of that lack of quality

  16. windbourne says:

    BYD has multiple problems:
    1) low quality as other have shown. Have you seen their buses? HORRIBLE.
    2) Designs are horrible. Looks like it came out of a communist nation, which it did.
    3) They do not make EVs, They make hybrids. IOW, their EVs have no speeds, no quickness, and look like regular hybrids that simply plow through the air wasting all of their energy.
    4) they are horribly expensive for what you are getting. I would not pay $20,000 for one of their cars.