BYD Chairman: Tesla Model S is a “Rich Man’s Toy”
Let the war of words begin.
BYD chairman Wang Chuanfu has been paraphrased (from an original interview in Chinese, we assume) as calling the Tesla Model S a “rich man’s toy.”
Chuanfu apparently believes that only a small segment of the wealthiest individuals in China will be able to afford the Model S, despite what Tesla says is a reasonable price tag on the vehicle in China.
Chuanfu states that BYD manufacturers vehicles that are “mass oriented and designed for everyone.”
BYD claims to be not concerned with Tesla’s entry into the Chinese market.
The BYD Qin, an EREV, is expected to be a “hot seller this year,” says Chuanfu. The Qin undercuts the Model S price substantially. With a base MSRP of only 189,800 yuan (compared to the Model S base MSRP in China of 734,000 yuan) there’s no question that the Qin will appeal to a wider swath of potential buyers, but BYD has not had much success in the past in selling its plug-ins. Perhaps Qin will change that.
“In a short time, the Qin will become a best-selling automobile in Shanghai, and this success will carry over into other markets. This process is already happening quickly. Currently, the demand for the Qin exceeds our supply.”
- Qin: 189,800 yuan – $31,236 USD
- Tesla Model S: 734,000 yuan = $121,000 USD
So, yes there’s a huge discrepancy in price tags, but we think there’s room for both to succeed in terms of sales in China.
What’ll be more interesting to watch is US sales of the Qin when it launches here in 2015. That is, if it does actually make it to the US.
Source: South China Morning Post