The name BYD may not mean much to most Westerners, but in China, it is recognized as the name of the country’s leading electric automaker, accounting for 15 per cent of the nation’s EV sales.
South China Morning Post was recently granted access to the BYD’s huge production facility. Like the best car factories found elsewhere around the world, BYD runs a near-seamless operation combining the speed of robots with the skill and eye-for-detail of trained workers.
BYD, which stands for Build Your Dreams, builds a vehicle every 90 seconds at its factory in Shenzhen.
The automaker’s vehicles are only currently sold in China, but there are plans to begin exporting vehicles to the United States and western Europe by the middle of 2019.
According to general manager at BYD Auto Sales, Xia Zhibing, the company aims to sell 1.5 million vehicles annually in eight years’ time. Current plans call for 50 per cent of BYD’s business to be made up of exports.
Its most popular models are its F-series range of electric vehicles. Sales of these models will hit 100,000 this year, a 100 per cent increase from last year. With the introduction of three new models, BYD’s Chinese sales are expected to double again, to 200,000 units, in 2019.
BYD does more than build cars, though, and next year wants to raise up to $1 billion by spinning off its handset components unit.
The company has been aggressively pursuing the electric vehicle market as part of a push from the Chinese government to make it the world’s largest producer of EVs.