China’s BYD wants its sales Down Under to have increased four-fold by the end of next year, which would see it eclipse Tesla’s current volumes and become one of the top 10 car brands in Australia.

    David Smitherman, CEO for BYD’s local distributor EVDirect, told CarExpert of the company’s ambitious sales and volume aspirations in the Australian market.

    It’s aiming for 100 per cent growth in 2024, then 100 per cent again in 2025.

    In 2023 BYD sold 12,438 new vehicles – 11,042 Atto 3 SUVs, 925 Dolphin hatchbacks, and 471 Seal sedans. Currently, all BYD models sold in Australia are battery-electric vehicles.

    With these increases, BYD is therefore targeting around 50,000 sales in 2025.

    For reference, Tesla sold 46,116 vehicles in Australia in 2023.

    “As a brand, we will grow as we offer more product. We’re a product-led business, and the way this business is growing to grow is by offering more product in other segments people want,” Mr Smitherman said.

    Mr Smitherman said at a media presentation recently that BYD has plans to launch new vehicles in 2024, 2025 and 2026 to fuel this growth forecast – a key one being the upcoming Shark plug-in hybrid ute, understood to be earmarked for an Australian market launch later this year or early in 2025.

    BYD’s local distributor has also previously confirmed the Sealion 6 plug-in hybrid SUV (known elsewhere as the Seal U) is due for an Australian launch in the second quarter of 2024.

    An earlier Australian Government filing confirmed two variants: Dynamic and Premium. According to the approval documents, the Dynamic will feature a 72kW internal-combustion engine and a 145kW front-mounted electric motor, for a total system output of 160kW.

    The Premium will feature a 96kW internal-combustion engine, a 150kW front electric motor and a 120kW rear electric motor, for a total system output of 238kW.

    These documents don’t detail all the Sealion 6’s specifications, but we know globally it will offer a choice of 18.3kWh and 26.6kWh batteries, offering between 110km and 150km of range under the more lenient NEDC cycle.

    Further details are expected to be announced at an event in Melbourne on May 16, which CarExpert will be attending. According to the invitation, BYD will be launching its “Super-Hybrid” technology – the brand’s plug-in hybrid branding.

    An electric version of the SUV is also set to be released in Europe this year, which quotes up to 500 kilometres of driving range on the WLTP cycle from its 87kWh LFP battery pack.

    Neither BYD nor its local distributor have confirmed if or when the Seal U EV might make it to local showrooms, though it’s understood to be on the wish list to sit above the Atto 3 and serve as a proper Tesla Model Y competitor.

    Stay tuned to CarExpert for all the latest.

    MORE: 2024 BYD Seal U – Plug-in hybrid Outlander rival nearing Australian launch
    MORE: Everything BYD

    James Wong

    James Wong is the Production Editor at CarExpert based in Melbourne, Australia. With experience on both media and manufacturer sides of the industry, James has a specialty for product knowledge which stems from a life-long obsession with cars. James is a Monash University journalism graduate, an avid tennis player, and the proud charity ambassador for Drive Against Depression – an organisation that supports mental wellness through the freedom of driving and the love of cars. He's also the proud father of Freddy, a 2019 Volkswagen Golf GTI .

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