Someone is in a big hurry: In March, Daimler and BYD signed an agreement to develop an all electric vehicle “specific to the requirements of the Chinese market.” Usually, it takes a while until something comes from these announcements, especially in China, where everything needs a lot of big red chops. Much to our surprise, we hear that BYD and Daimler signed the contract today to form a 50:50 joint venture for the aforementioned purpose.
A week ago, we ran a story about China’s BYD scaling back – way back – plans to mass produce their E6 pure plug-in. We reported that all they’ll make will be 100 E6 electric cars to be used as taxis in the city of Shenzhen, where BYD is based. Further development of the vehicles will depend on how that test fleet will be doing. At the time, it was only a rumor. Now, the rumor has been confirmed by the BYD man himself, Chairman Wang Chuanfu.
Wonder how a formerly little known company called BYD can turn into a major player in the auto business and turn a record profit? Here is one of the reasons: BYD “has scrapped its highly publicized plan to mass-produce pure electric cars on the mainland by the middle of this year,” writes Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post.
All they’ll make will be 100 E6 electric cars to be used as taxis in the city of Shenzhen, where BYD is based. Further development of the vehicles will depend on how that test fleet will be doing. Now that is one way to delay production.
Even since Landwind crash test, and the Brilliance crash test, the reputation of Chinese cars in Europe has been a little, shall we say, challenging. Watching the bonnet of a car crumble like Professor Gilbert’s theory on Toyota’s UA tofu does have its effect on prospective customers.
But none of this seems to worry BYD. Europe is their next target. Autocar reports that BYD, the maker of China’s biggest selling car, the F3, will be coming to Europe in 2011. Not with their bestselling F3, but with a pure electric E6. The car was introduced at the Geneva Motor Show.
Buffett-backed Chinese EV firm BYD is back at the Detroit Auto Show after making its main-floor debut last year. Like most automakers, BYD has toned things down a bit this year, featuring the same vehicle it brought last year, the all-electric e6 crossover. Last year, BYD said the 250-mile, 14-sec 0-60 e6 would be coming to the US at an estimated $40k pricetag. This year, BYD’s Fred Ni is telling ABC that the e6 could be more reasonably priced, implying that it would be sold at a price point comparable to similar gas-powered vehicles.