BYD Auto of China Dreams Big

By Brendan Moore

11.28.2007

It’s the same song, but it’s being covered by a different band.

Yet another Chinese car company that no one has ever heard of is talking big, and I mean, real big. BYD Auto told China Daily earlier this month that it will be producing 13 million vehicles annually by 2025 and will challenge Toyota and GM for global sales supremacy.

OK, it’s always good to have goals, but the small, privately-owned BYD sold all of 60,000 units last year. That’s quite a bit less than 1% of what GM and Toyota sold last year. And just a couple of years ago, BYD was a little battery manufacturer that made no cars. They got into the car business by buying a tiny bankrupt auto maker named Qingchaun that produced around 100 units a month.

The BYD F1 – it retails for around $3200 USD

Part of the BYD plan is to skirt the all-out competitive firefights in the current automotive market by producing electric cars in the future.

The company just announced that they will be displaying both plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs) at the Detroit Auto Show in January 2008. BYD says they plan to start selling their own cars in the U.S. in late 2008 or early 2009, though they have no engineering or design expertise in-house that would help them in meeting the many U.S. requirements for light passenger vehicles.

“Electric cars will be the trump card for us in the global arena. We expect them to account for half of our total sales by 2015,” commented Xia Zhibing, BYD’s sales chief.


The company currently has a hybrid car called the F6 that uses a Mitsubishi engine paired with a battery pack in the last stages of development and expects to roll that model out in 2008. A company spokesman claims that the F6 will have a battery-only range of 400 kilometers and a battery-only top-speed of 160 kilometers per hour. BYD also stated that the F6, curiously enough, will use an iron-based battery pack that can be recharged to 70% capacity in approximately 10 minutes. The company claims that this revolutionary, new kind of battery took 500 employees to perfect, and that it will be used not just in their cars but in toys, mobile phones, laptops and power tools.

BYD also says that they will have an EV for sale in 2009.

Wow! That is a lot to think about.

COPYRIGHT Autosavant.net – All Rights Reserved

Author: Brendan Moore

Brendan Moore is a Principal Consultant with Cedar Point Consulting , a management consulting practice based in the Washington, DC area. He also manages Autosavant Consulting, a separate practice within Cedar Point Consulting. where he advises businesses connected to the auto industry. Cedar Point Consulting can be found at http://www.cedarpointconsulting.com.

Share This Post On

13 Comments

  1. From the same country that can’t make children’s toys or safe dog food. And they want me to get in one of their cars and drive down the road at 60 MPH?

    Jeez, what could go wrong?

  2. What is an iron battery? That is strange, never heard of that before and I’m an engineer.

  3. Emblem is a BMW knockoff

    F1 is a Toyota Aygo knockoff

    F6 is a BMW 7-Series knockoff

    They’re going to have to do better than that. Maybe the miracle battery that the 500 people worked on is the ticket.

  4. The iron battery BYD refers to is a lithium iron phosphate battery. The reason that no one uses them is because they’re somewhat unstable, they are expensive, and as you might imagine, they are really heavy. And it’s very difficult to get uniformity of specifications in terms of production. Very, very difficult. It is not new technology, just known technology that is not used because of the many problems that come with it. Oh, and btw, I’m certain there is patent protection on lithium iron phosphate battery technology in the U.S. and Europe.

  5. In other news, I’m going to be appointed CEO of Toyota next month, and plan to make the company the biggest car company in the solar system by the year 2300.

    Seriously, these Chinese companies (and VW, ahem) are really great at talking out of their asses, but let’s see somewhere near the sales results needed to become one of the top five vehicle manufacturers in the world.

  6. I’d like to see this battery, I really would. It all sounds pretty wonderful.

  7. Pshaw.

  8. I just invented a battery this afternoon – me and 501 engineers. It’s powered by unicorn hair and pixie dust. 🙂

  9. Good one, Chris Haak!

  10. BYD is one of the largest
    rechargeable battery manufacturers
    in the world. I don’t think their
    claims can be dismissed by flippant
    insulting remarks. I also have not
    read where their Iron Battery is
    an LiFePO4 battery. Brian

  11. Brian is a panda hugger. Shut up Brian.

  12. There’s no need to be rude. Your poor manners just made youself look like an asshole.

    The closest thing that I can find about the iron battery is an LiFePO4 battery. I hope that’s what not what it is, considering how heavy it is.

  13. BYD will definitely become the number one car brand in the world.

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.