BYD’s Australian distributor says it holds more than 3000 orders for the Chinese electric vehicles, as it confirms it has signed the dotted line on a previously reported agreement with Eagers Automotive in the dealer space.
EVDirect.com, BYD’s distributor and e-commerce provider here, today officially announced the selection of the public Eagers Automotive company as retail and service dealer partner.
Deliveries of the first BYD vehicles are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2022, with the electric Atto 3 crossover the first vehicle to be sold, as a competitor to the hot-selling MG ZS EV.
Two more BYD electric vehicles will reportedly go on sale, both online and through Eagers locations, by December 2022 – likely a small hatchback and a sedan.
The companies say the plan entails BYD facilities nationwide that’ll facilitate a “best-in-class delivery experience for BYD customers”. It’ll communicate vehicle delivery and test drive information to existing EVDirect and BYD customers in the coming days.
EVDirect and Eagers announced they’d signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding back in February for a joint venture retail partnership and five-year franchise agreement.
Ownership of said partnership was announced to be 51 per cent for EVDirect and 49 per cent for Eagers.
EVDirect had previously said it would sell BYD vehicles online only, later announcing third-party mycar would service them, before its sales goals called for an additional more ambitious strategy.
“mycar will complement this new BYD expansion and will continue to provide authorised service locations for BYD customers through their network of EV ready stores across Australia,” said a spokesperson for EVDirect.
“This, in conjunction with Eagers’ network, will ensure that BYD customers have access to the largest EV servicing capability across Australia.”
“We are extremely confident that BYD’s first mass-produced vehicle for Australia the ATTO 3, will be an amazing success with more than 3,000 orders already placed,” said BYD Australia general manager Wing You.
“We have been working closely with our Distributor Partner, EVDirect.com, on how best to implement an extensive network to provide immediate scale and support for our expanding range of new BYD products and are very excited with the inclusion of Australia’s largest dealership group Eagers Automotive as our retail dealer partner to complement our long-term relationship with EVDirect.com.”
Not lacking in ambition, EVDirect.com says it has invested tens of millions into BYD’s Chinese production lines to make right-hand drive products for Australia.
The company plans to offer up to eight separate models by the end of 2024 and hopes to be a top five brand, per previous statements. It’s likely many of these are new-generation models that are yet to be revealed publicly.
In addition to the Atto 3, EVDirect has also pledged to sell the BYD EA1 (Dolphin in China) small EV hatch with a target price of $35,000-$40,000 and a focus on rideshare operators. It has previously launched (in small volumes) the T3 van and E6 MPV, though the number sold is unclear.
Besides the Dolphin, the recently revealed Seal sedan is another possibility for Australia – but expect different, less aquatic names for both.
The Atto 3 is already on sale online, priced from $44,990 drive-away.
It’s available in two different variants: the former with a 50.1kWh battery, 150kW/310Nm front-mounted electric motor, and 320km of range on the WLTP cycle, and the latter with a 60.4kWh battery, the same electric motor, but 420km of range.
Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, BYD is the fourth largest automaker in the world by market capitalisation, producing more than 1.5 million vehicles since being founded, with a record 603,783 units sold in 2021.
The company now produces only electric and hybrid vehicles, having ended production of traditional combustion-powered vehicles earlier this year.
EVDirect.com managing director Luke Todd called this “an important milestone in the journey to bring BYD, the most anticipated and exciting new auto brand to market in Australia”.
“The arrangement allows us to retain the benefits of a streamlined direct to customer model whilst also expanding our physical sales and after-sales infrastructure in line with the growth trajectory of the BYD product range.
“Between BYD and EVDirect.com we have invested heavily over the last few years to establish mass scale production of BYD electric vehicles for the Australian market.
“Eagers were a natural choice to be part of our BYD retail dealer solution to facilitate wider access to the latest EV technology for Australian customers, combining a national footprint with their retail expertise and experience to support and expedite our ambitious growth plans.
“From day one of our discussions, we were impressed by Eagers desire to innovate in line with our strategic plan to optimise the BYD customer experience with new retail formats, such as the recently opened Automall in Indooroopilly Shopping Centre in Brisbane, allowing us to offer BYD customers the best of online and in-store experience with an unrivalled national after sales support network.”
MORE: BYD Seal: Tesla Model 3 EV sedan competitor detailed
MORE: BYD Atto 3: China’s BYD electric brand arrives from $44,381, online
MORE: BYD ‘overwhelmed’ by demand, plans huge EV expansion
MORE: BYD: 20 retail sites and eight EV models by 2024 now the goal
MORE: Brand overview: BYD
MORE: BYD Australia distributor now plans national EV retail network with Eagers