BYD only started selling cars in Europe this year, but already it’s looking to build a factory on the continent.
Reuters reports the decision has already been made to build the factory in Hungary.
Citing German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS), Reuters reports unnamed sources close to BYD have said the decision has already been made internally on the location of the factory.
In addition, FAS also reports that amid deepening relations between China and Hungary, Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orbán recently visited the Asian superpower and was a guest of BYD.
BYD already has a manufacturing presence in Hungary, as the company has an electric bus factory there. The electric bus plant began operations in 2017 and the company has since recorded sales of over 600 electric buses in twelve European countries.
A Hungarian car factory would give BYD greater access to markets in the European Union.
In particular, it could allow the company to sidestep potential future tariffs imposed against Chinese manufacturers.
The European Union is currently conducting an anti-subsidy investigation, which comes as the EU is worried the influx of affordable Chinese electric vehicles represents a significant threat to European carmakers.
“Global markets are now flooded with cheaper Chinese electric cars. And their price is kept artificially low by huge state subsidies,” said President of the executive branch of the European Union, Ursula von der Leyen.
BYD is not the only Chinese carmaker with ambitions to open a European factory however, with other reports indicating Chinese manufacturers such as SAIC-owned MG and GWM also want in.
GWM president Mu Feng says the company has big plans for the region, confirming earlier this year it was looking at opening a European factory.
Automobilwoche reports GWM is considering several possibilities in Hungary, Germany or Czechia.
Additionally, Nikkei Asia reports SAIC Motor, parent company of MG and LDV, is also seeking to build a factory in Europe as its sales there continue to surpass expectations.
The outlet also reports SAIC execs have visited Germany and France to study the feasibility of building a local plant.
The world’s largest manufacturer of lithium ion-batteries, CATL, is also building a factory in Hungary. The Chinese company is spending €7.34 billion ($A12bn) on constructing a massive 100GWh battery plant, confirming Hungary to be a favourite European destination for Chinese investment.
BYD has been busily expanding around the world, recently entering markets like Mexico and Japan.
Since launching its Atto 3 in Australia in 2022, it has been on a tear locally.
To the end of September, BYD has sold 8706 vehicles in Australia – and that’s just of one model. That makes it Australia’s second best-selling EV brand, behind only Tesla.
BYD’s rise in Australia is set to continue with no supply issues and sharp pricing, plus new models like a ute and a larger SUV.