Chinese giant BYD has been rapidly expanding in a number of different markets, including Australia, and the latest move in its quest for world domination includes new plans with local distributor EVDirect.

    The companies have a range of “lofty goals” which include BYD becoming one of a top-five best-selling brand in Australia by an undisclosed date, with aspirations to reach the number-one spot.

    BYD plans to massively expand its dealer network while also rolling out new product, including its first plug-in hybrids (PHEVs).

    Until the end of October 2023, the top five best-selling car brands in Australia are Toyota (174,957 sales), Mazda (84,536 sales), Ford (69,809 sales), Kia (64,770 sales), and Hyundai (63,578 sales).

    BYD is currently in 25th place on the new car sales charts in Australia and has sold a total of 9718 cars until the end of October. 9618 of these sales were of the Atto 3 electric SUV which is currently the third top-selling electric vehicle (EV) in Australia.

    This sales figure will be supplemented by the BYD Dolphin electric hatchback which recently started being delivered to Australian customers, as well as the Seal electric sedan which recently hit local docks.

    In addition, EVDirect CEO Luke Todd has announced the company plans to have five BYD models that are being delivered by 2024. We already know a mid-sized SUV and a ute are both on their way.

    Mr Todd confirmed the company will be introducing its first hybrid vehicle to the Australian market. To date it has only offered purely EVs locally.

    It’s unclear if BYD’s DM-i plug-in hybrid powertrain technology will be offered locally on the forthcoming mid-size SUV, or the ute, or both. The Seal U PHEV mid-sized SUV has been spied in Australia, and a ute PHEV prototype in China.

    It’s worth noting BYD also sells a Seal sedan with the DM-i plug-in hybrid system in China.

    BYD’s DM-i PHEV powertrain technology comes with dual electric motors and a petrol engine that’s claimed to offer “extremely long driving range” and eliminate range anxiety.

    “These new type of vehicles will be going head-to-head with existing older-styled technology hybrid on sale by other brands,” said Mr Todd.

    “With the additional supply chain strengths this will enable us to offer more advanced vehicles to customers who in some cases may still be on a waiting list for what we believe is old and superseded technology.”

    BYD has also announced it plans to open 30 new retail outlets and more service locations in the next 18 months.

    One of these new service facilities is the BYD Service and Support Centre in Mascot, which is in Sydney’s inner south.

    This facility will act as a service hub and feature a “eco-friendly” car wash, specialised EV panel repair shop, as well as a service and training facility.

    The brand currently has 21 retail locations nationwide, plus four pop-ups. It also has 13 service centres, not including a wide network of mycar locations that can service BYD vehicles.

    “We’ve seen the BYD brand grow substantially in the first 18 months of trade within Australia,” added Mr Todd.

    “Under these new arrangements with BYD, we will once again be setting a new benchmark of how the latest technologically advanced vehicles will be brought to Australia.

    “Since launching in Australia EVDirect and BYD have demonstrated a streamlined supply chain which has resulted in unparalleled price points for their quality product range and strong supply capabilities.

    “Under the new arrangements the supply chain will be even stronger.”

    Jack Quick

    Jack Quick is an automotive journalist based in Melbourne. Jack studied journalism and photography at Deakin University in Burwood, and previously represented the university in dance nationally. In his spare time, he loves to pump Charli XCX and play a bit of Grand Theft Auto. He’s also the proud owner of a blue, manual 2020 Suzuki Jimny.

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