In 2023, BYD made headlines in the electric vehicle (EV) industry by surpassing Tesla in overall EV production, with a staggering 3.02 million new energy vehicles compared to Tesla’s 1.84 million. BYD’s success can be attributed to its diversified approach to sustainable mobility, which includes a significant number of battery-only cars and hybrids. The company’s dominance in the EV market was further exemplified when it outsold Tesla in battery-only cars during the last quarter of 2023.
BYD’s journey began in 1995 as a battery manufacturer before venturing into the automobile industry in 2003. Leveraging its expertise in battery technology, the company swiftly transitioned into electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, paving the way for its meteoric rise. Led by Chairman Wang Chuanfu, BYD attracted strategic investments, including a stake from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, fueling its expansion and innovation initiatives.
Beyond the automotive sector, BYD has also delved into cell phone assembly, solar cell manufacturing, and other sustainable technologies. The company’s success story is further amplified by its global expansion efforts, venturing into markets across Europe, Southeast Asia, Oceania, South America, and notably, India.
BYD Auto, the automotive subsidiary of BYD Company, was established in 2003, and since then, the company has been dedicated to producing new energy vehicles. It discontinued the production of internal combustion engine cars in 2022 to focus solely on new energy vehicles. The company sells its vehicles under the BYD brand, as well as high-end vehicles under the Denza, Yangwang, and Fangchengbao brands. In recent years, BYD has been expanding its sales of passenger cars in overseas markets, including Europe, Southeast Asia, Oceania, and South America.
One strategic move by BYD was its early entry into the Indian market. BYD India was registered in Chennai in 2007 and established an electronics manufacturing plant. In 2013, BYD India shifted its focus to explore India’s electric vehicle market. The introduction of the first pure electric bus, the BYD K9, in 2013 marked a pioneering moment in India’s automotive history. Successful trials in major cities allowed BYD to gather crucial data and evaluate the performance of its electric vehicles.
Over the years, BYD India diversified its product portfolio, expanding into electric passenger vehicles, e-buses, e-trucks, and e-forklifts. The launch of the e6 in 2021 marked the company’s entry into the passenger vehicle segment in India. Building on its success, BYD introduced the Atto 3 in 2022, solidifying its presence in the Indian PV space.
Ketsu Zhang, Executive Director of BYD India, emphasizes the strategic significance of India as a hub for serving the South Asian market. Zhang expresses optimism about bringing innovative practices to India and forging enduring partnerships for the future.
One key factor contributing to BYD’s popularity in India is its cutting-edge technology, particularly the Blade Battery. With its safety, efficiency, and exceptional resilience demonstrated through rigorous tests, the Blade Battery sets new standards in the EV industry.
Although BYD India has faced challenges, including delays in product launches and setbacks in obtaining homologation certificates, the company remains determined to move forward in the subcontinent. Despite a setback with a substantial fine for tax underpayment in 2023, BYD aims to regain momentum in 2024 and achieve sales figures similar to those planned for 2023.
BYD India continues to strive towards revolutionizing sustainable mobility in India, and reports suggest that BYD dealers in the country are optimistic about the brand’s future growth and success.