BYD might acquire a former Ford plant in Brazil, as the Chinese carmaker explores North America

November 18, 2022 11:05 pm

The Chinese EV-making giant is expanding in North America, and currently in talks with the Brazilian government to acquire a plant in Bahia, after the company launched its Song and Yuan models in Brazil.

The plant formerly belonged to another carmaker - Ford, who ceased operation of the factory in January 2021. According to Adalberto Maluf, director of marketing and sustainability for BYD’s Brazilian subsidiary, the state government still has issues to resolve and has yet to develop a national electric vehicle travel plan and minimum sales targets to justify the decision to nationalize production.

Mulaf has also announced at an event in São Paulo that BYD is investing about R$2.5 billion in the VLT project in Bahia.

BYD’s presence in Brazil will be marked by its Song and Yuan SUV models which are to begin selling in November. Song is a hybrid while Yuan is an entirely electric model.

BYD unveiled two SUV models to the Brazilian market on Wednesday, and BYD will begin selling the two new electric vehicles in Brazil in November. Brazil is the largest automotive market in Latin America, according to Stella Li, president of BYD Americas, who added that "I believe now is the right time politically and environmentally for us to invest in building these new technologies in Brazil.”

The two EV models will be sold as imports, with hopes that when the new plant will take up the production after it goes into operation. The move will be a challenge, and the company hopes for a government that is “open-minded to technological development,” according to Mulaf.