The managing director of BYD’s local distributor isn’t keeping quiet about his company’s big plans for the new Sealion 6 plug-in hybrid SUV.

    Speaking with media this week, EVDirect managing director and executive chairman Luke Todd said that while the new Sealion 6 enters uncharted waters for the Chinese brand in Australia, he believes BYD’s new SUV is more than a match for the market leaders.

    “This is effectively a new business arm for us,” Mr Todd said.

    “We’re now competing against Toyota RAV4, Mitsubishi Outlander – some of the biggest-selling vehicles in Australia, and we’ve got stronger, newer technology vehicles that not only stand up [to rivals] but can actually outperform them.

    “I know that’s a big claim, but test drive one.”

    Mr Todd wouldn’t be drawn to quote actual sales figure forecasts, but the boss of BYD’s local distributor partner said this Sealion 6 has a lot of potential as it’s the brand’s first proper entry into Australia’s most popular vehicle segment.

    “It’s the first family-sized SUV that we’ve been able to bring to the market,” Mr Todd continued.

    “I don’t want to put a number on it, but early interest is really strong and the reality is there’s close to a nine-month wait [for an equivalent vehicle] from another brand. I’m confident a lot of those people [waiting] will want to come and test drive, and try out the [Sealion 6].

    “What was announced today [about the dedicated production line for Sealion 6] is because we’re so confident in the volume of this product, and the reality we can have this product deliverable in market within six weeks,” Mr Todd added.

    “When you’re looking at a brand we all know that’s got a long wait list, a vehicle like [the Sealion 6] that has better technology, newer, and we can actually deliver it,” appearing to take yet another swipe at Toyota’s top-selling SUV.

    The 2024 BYD Sealion 6 is now on sale in Australia, priced from $48,990 before on-road costs.

    Known previously as the Seal U, the Sealion 6 arrives as a PHEV-only mid-sizer to compete with the likes of the Mitsubishi Outlander Plug-in Hybrid EV and MG HS +EV.

    A pure electric version is sold in overseas markets like China and Europe, and is understood to be on the wishlist for Australia. However, at this stage there’s no official confirmation of if or when it’ll come here.

    Two plug-in hybrid drivetrains are available, with both front- and all-wheel drive options. Both models are capable of over 80km of all-electric range and the Sealion 6 AWD is capable of doing the 0-100km/h sprint in just 5.9 seconds.

    Do you agree? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

    MORE: 2024 BYD Sealion 6 price and specs
    MORE: 2024 BYD Sealion 6 review | Quick drive
    MORE: Everything BYD Sealion 6

    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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