By on December 15, 2009

Made in Egypt: BYD F3. Picture courtesy

Supposed battery and electric car maker BYD is giving Chinese car makers reasons to be worried. While BYD’s electric cars get all the headlines, BYD’s conventionally powered and aggressively priced F3 car has been a Chinese chart topper for many months. The F3 is one of the best-selling sedans in the Chinese market. As many months before, BYD’s F3 did lead  China’s November sedan sales. Now, BYD is making this car abroad.

According to Gasgoo, BYD Auto has rolled out its first locally produced car in Egypt.  After cooperating with a local automaker for four years, BYD has started selling the popular BYD F3 made in Egypt, with a retail price equivalent to US$11,000.

BYD has set up a CKD (completely knocked-down) assembly plant in the African country. More reason to get worried: While other Chinese companies are ditching overseas plans and plants, BYD plans to set up 40 overseas plants by 2025.

I sat in a F3 two days ago. Admittedly, it was dark. Admittedly, I had a driver. But the car was roomy, had a big trunk and the looks and size of a VW Passat. The driver said it sells for less that $10000 in China.  No wonder it’s a runaway hit.

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9 Comments on “BYD, Made in Egypt...”

  • avatar

    Uh, is it just me or is this a rebadged last-generation Toyota Corolla? It certainly looks like it, and a Google image search would seem to confirm it. They also make the F3 R, which looks conspicuously similar to the Suzuki Reno…

  • avatar

    Is not you, I’ve seen the car in person close and in the distance and it looks very similar to the Craprolla. Far away you can’t distinguish them. Near it’s obvious the details that make it different.
    Taillamps are different. The engine is Mitusubishi (for the ones they brought here).
    The F3 R yes, it lloks very similar to your Suzuki Reno, our Chevrolet Optra Hatchback and their Buick Excelle…

  • avatar

    for the money these cars are good enough in emerging markets
    sure we may sneer at them in the western world but the developing world has much lower expectations
    i would also guess that this is another car that we may sneer at but in the back of our minds we know the 2015 BYD F3 when it is sold in the west will decimate the market… it is inevitable
    in 5 yrs they’ll have sorted things out and i am honestly scared…

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    It takes a helluva a lot more money, effort and expertise to produce a car for First World and Second World than it does the Third World. And what’s more, the payoff for building a First World car may not be their any more.
    Building TKDs for Egypt is very smart, but it’s a completely different business model than building a car for the U.S.

    • 0 avatar

      You are right. There are people sweating details on vehicles – the kind of details most folks would never dream of. That’s a lot of time and money in Europe, NA, etc.  

      My jury is still out on if  China can pull reliability and quality off. Occasionally China seems to make good, solid stuff, but most of it looks to have a limited life and inconsistant materials and assembly.

      Their market is very internal, and I don’t see them pushing out what the outside world demands until their own market is saturated and mature. 2020?

  • avatar
    Mr Carpenter

    I’m starting to come to a rather ominous conclusion about the Chinese that nobody seems to be thinking about and talking about – yet. 

    We’re focused on their making inroads in Western 1st world markets all the while they are kicking booty in 2nd and 3rd world markets, but really taking names and kicking @ss in China, their home turf – after having invited Western and Japanese and South Korean manufacturers in as “partners” to learn/steal from them. 

    My thinking is this; perhaps the Chinese are concluding that there isn’t much point in selling cars to a nation or group of nations which are going to be economically despondent, but will instead simply declare the “partnerships” with Western automakers “over” and retain all the profits for global auto sales themselves. 

    Worldwide, but mostly pertaining to China itself. 

    Combined with a double dip depression or recession for the West, we’ll be in the inenviable position of being left in the dust economically for decades if not permanently. 

    Because it’s not just about cars, you know.  But cars are the canary in the mine, if you catch my drift.  (I’m speaking about Detroit Inc being a canary in the mine for Washington).

    Sorry for the multiple posts. Have no idea what happened.

  • avatar
    Paul Niedermeyer

    For what it’s worth, I prefer the prior gen Corolla over the current one.

  • avatar

    Since Corolla is the very definition of generic design, should we fault any car that looks like a Corolla?

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