BYD is poised to have three models on sale in Australia by the end of 2023, including a direct rival to the top-selling Tesla Model 3 electric sedan.
Luke Todd, CEO and managing director of BYD distributor EVDirect, has confirmed to CarExpert the BYD Seal will launch in Australia in the second half of 2023.
The exact date for when orders for the Seal open will be announced in February next year, according to Mr Todd.
This follows Mr Todd saying in September this year the BYD Seal would go on sale locally either late 2022 or early 2023.
Few Australian details about the BYD Seal are confirmed thus far, but it will likely have a different name locally, according to Mr Todd, as Seal is what it’s called in the Chinese market.
The Atto 4 name has been previously speculated, but no name for the Australian market has been announced yet.
It’ll be priced above the Atto 3, according to Mr Todd, which currently caps out at $51,011 before on-road costs for the Extended Range model.
It’s expected the Seal will be priced similarly to the Tesla Model 3, which currently starts at $65,500 before on-roads for the rear-wheel drive model and extends to $91,600 before on-roads for the dual-motor Performance.
The BYD Seal is available in China with two single-motor variants, as well as a dual-motor AWD performance model. All feature BYD Blade lithium iron phosphate battery packs of varying sizes.
Claimed combined range is between 550km and 700km, depending on the variant, according to CLTC testing.
Following the launch of the BYD Seal, Mr Todd recently announced it will launch an electric ute in 2024, which will serve as a competitor to the LDV eT60, plus the incoming JAC T9 EV and (potentially) Geely Radar RD6.
‘New energy vehicle’ brand BYD is currently expanding at a rapid pace, rolling out its EVs in Europe, Japan, and Australia – where its Atto 3 small SUV is selling in strong numbers after a few launch speed bumps.
In fact, the Warren Buffett-backed EV and battery supplier eclipsed three million EV and PHEV sales globally last month.
BYD Auto wants to create a “powerful brand matrix” comprising BYD-branded cars, premium spinoff Denza, and a luxury SUV-focused brand called Yangwang.
The Chinese carmaker also plans to launch “another new brand” which will specialise in “professional and personalised identities, covering family cars and luxury cars”.
“The brand will harness the co-creation with users and warmly welcome all the franchised dealerships to join BYD for its promotion,” it added, suggesting the cars with higher degrees of personalisation.