General Motors Hopes To Beat BYD In Plug-In Electric Car Sales In China

9 months ago by Eric Loveday 13

BYD Qin EV300

BYD Qin EV300

BYD Tang

BYD Tang

General Motors is trying to play catch up in China where homegrown automaker BYD leads the way in plug-in electric car sales.

As blog China-EV reports:

“The Qin and Tang are very viable in Shanghai,” Martin Murray, deputy director, electrification engineering at GM China tells ChinaEV. “That has given SAIC and GM the motivation to compete.”

Qin and Tang hold the top two sales spots in China (and BYD has sold more than 10,000 EVs in each of the last 3 months), so moving in on that territory won’t be easy for GM. Murray believes that GM can make plug-ins that are better than BYD’s offering.

Murray adds:

“We are looking at GM technology which has the safety and performance people like, and GM’s affordable models, and putting the two together in China. The object is to make these high volumes. We are going protect these (GM) brands; these are going to be super high-quality products.”

“…the key point is to have affordable (electrified) cars.”

BYD plug-in electric car sales in China – August 2016

BYD plug-in electric car sales in China – August 2016

It’s not at all clear from Murray which vehicles GM will electrify for China in the “affordable” category. He doesn’t even hints at a particular model in his interview with China-EV, but the assumption is that batteries will be made locally to keep costs down and that a focus on PHEVs seem to come first before venturing down the BEV path in China.

So, not much to go on, but at least GM is convinced that now’s the time to get serious in regards to plug-ins in China.

Source: China-EV via Green Car Reports

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13 responses to "General Motors Hopes To Beat BYD In Plug-In Electric Car Sales In China"

  1. Just_Chris says:

    Good luck with that one, my feeling is byd will outsell GM in the US before GM outsell byd in China in the ev space.

    I’m really happy to see GM talking up a fight, far better than halo cars, 30k production runs and no rhd model. I really don’t mind who wins.

  2. Terawatt says:

    If it was GM versus BYD I think GMs chances would be very good. But in China it is GM versus BYD + China. Hard to see how they could win that one. Mr. Chairman won’t allow it!

    1. Yogurt says:

      Mr Chairman allows VW to be the overall sales leader in China by a wide margin…
      Mr Chairman also allows foreign brands to have well over 50% of the market and to be 8 of the top 10 selling brands as of 2014 sales statics from wiki…
      But they also dont give rebates to cars with NMC battaries… which is LG Samsung Panosomic…

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automotive_industry_in_China

      1. ffbj says:

        Oh, yes. China is certainly a level playing field for foreign competition. Please stop.

      2. pete g says:

        GM sells more vehicles in China than Volkswagon.

    2. Inst says:

      You’re assuming that GM is producing a competitive offering. The only two companies that are wholly into the EV scene are BYD and Tesla; neither of them have appreciable legacy investments in ICE. Tesla doesn’t do ICE, and BYD did ICE simply to develop car production capability–it is fundamentally a battery maker. Look up the stats of BYD’s vehicles and compare them to the Volt and Bolt; you’ll see that, safety aside, their vehicles are superior offerings.

  3. Zukidrvr says:

    It will have to be plastered with Buick logos to get any attention.

  4. Miggy says:

    On EV sales in the worldwide update it shows BYD at number one with 63k ytd sales and GM at number nine with 18.5k ytd sales.

  5. EVA-01 says:

    GM will have to compete on cost then because I’m sure that’s what BYD has going for it in China.

  6. Andrew says:

    Will there be a Buick Bolt EV??

    1. Rob Stark says:

      The Buick Electra.

      Buick(GM) have the trademark for Electra in the automotive space might as well use it.

  7. Rick Danger says:

    So. GM is all hot to trot to make high volume EVs in China, but not in the US.

  8. Holy Stupidity! says:

    GM thinking that it can beat a Chinese carmaker in China is delusional. The Chinese market is rigged from top to bottom against any foreign company. GM fails to realize that the Chinese Communist party controls the market. GM will not be allowed to beat BYD at anything.