Chinese Automaker BYD Wants to Sell Cars in U.S. This Year

January 13th, 2010
BYD e6

The BYD e6: Coming to America?

If you’ve never heard of Chinese automaker BYD, get ready to be introduced.

BYD (short for Build Your Dreams) announced at the North American International Auto Show its plans to enter the U.S. market. And get this: The company hopes to do it this year.

If you’re not laughing hard enough yet at the thought of a Chinese car company successfully entering the U.S. market, keep reading, because there’s so much more!

The first car BYD wants to introduce is the e6, an electric crossover the company says is capable of going 0-60 in 14 seconds (hold on!) and reaching a top speed of 85 miles per hour. Sounds perfect for U.S. highways, no?

There’s one more bit of news from the BYD camp that won’t strike any fear in the hearts of Volkswagen and Toyota like it was probably meant to: The company hopes to become the world’s largest automaker by 2025.

BYD s8

What does the BYD s8 remind you of?

Sounds to me like BYD has seriously been building its own dreams, without giving much thought to reality. I can’t speak to the quality of automobiles BYD builds, as I have never driven one, but I do know the reputation of Chinese car quality, and it’s not good. For now, though, I can give BYD the benefit of the doubt about quality. This I know for sure: Entering the U.S. auto market is hard, especially with questionable quality and without a proven and reliable distribution network.

BYD says it has a third-party network in place, but there’s no word on what that is. For all we know, it could be a deal to sell the e6 as a $5,000 Walmart or Costco novelty, which would probably give the cars a better chance than if they were sold through a conventional dealer network.

If BYD does manage to begin selling its cars here, I have a very hard time believing Americans will buy them in any meaningful numbers.

Can BYD become the best-selling car brand in the world by 2025? I say it will take that long just to get settled in the U.S. market.

-tgriffith

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  1. | #1

    That s8 looks an awful lot like a Mercedes-Benz. And didn’t Geely, another Chinese automaker, build a car that looked an awful like the Rolls-Royce Phantom? Hmmm.

  2. | #2

    @Hollerin

    Geely did copy a Rolls:
    http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/a-rolls-royce-knock-off-from-china/

    Not too impressed with the knock offs and those designs will never fly with the lawyers in the States!

  1. | #1
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