BYD launches four EV models in Jordan, eyes further expansion in Middle East

BYD launches four EV models in Jordan, eyes further expansion in Middle East

BYD’s Han EV is displayed during a launch event in Jordan. Photo: Handout
BYD’s Han EV is displayed during a launch event in Jordan. Photo: Handout

BYD, the world's largest electric-vehicle (EV) maker, has taken the first steps to tap the Middle East market by launching four models in Jordan and forming a partnership with a local dealer.

The four models - the Dolphin compact car, the Tang sport-utility vehicle, the Atto 3, the first car BYD developed for the international market, and the Han sedan - made their debut in Jordan last weekend with support from local dealer Mobility Solutions Auto Trade Company (MSTC).

The carmaker, backed by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway, said on Tuesday that it would expand to other markets in the Middle East, as it believed its value-for-money battery-powered cars would be well received by consumers in the region.

"BYD has been aggressively honing its image as an international player since it clinched the title of the world's largest EV maker," said Gao Shen, an independent analyst in Shanghai. "The Middle East is definitely a market it will explore in the coming years."

BYD, which is listed in both Shenzhen and Hong Kong, more than tripled its annual sales to 1.86 million units in 2022, mostly in China, the world's largest EV market. The strong sales helped it to unseat Elon Musk's Tesla as the world's largest EV firm.

Unlike Tesla, which assembles premium EVs priced at more than 200,000 yuan (US$29,094), BYD's battery-powered cars target middle-class customers in China with prices between 100,000 and 200,000 yuan. The Chinese carmaker is now selling its cars in multiple overseas markets, including Norway, Singapore, Brazil and India.

BYD did not reveal the prices of the vehicles on sale in Jordan.

The launch of the four models marked a milestone for the carmaker's "in-depth integration" into the Middle East market, said Adam Peng, sales director of BYD Middle East. It will work with MSTC on sales, after-sales and maintenance to provide services and support to consumers in the Middle East.

Also last week, BYD signed an agreement with Octopus Electric Vehicles to sell 5,000 EVs to the UK car rental company over the next three years. The cars that Octopus will buy include the Atto 3, BYD said in a statement on Monday, just a week after it announced its foray into the UK market.

Under its "Made in China 2025" strategy, Beijing wants the country's top EV makers to generate 10% of their sales overseas by 2025, although it did not specify which companies. Analysts said BYD is a top candidate for becoming a global EV powerhouse.

The company's blade lithium iron phosphate battery packs have proved to be popular with drivers and car assemblers. The battery cells are arranged in a manner that increases energy density while enhancing resistance to overheating. The blade batteries have also been supplied to Tesla's factory in Berlin.

Founded by Chinese billionaire Wang Chuanfu in 1995, BYD has been making vehicles since 2003. It mainly sells cars in mainland China, but is looking to become a global player with plans to expand in some overseas markets.

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