BYD cut prices for its models in China to intensify competition

March 11, 2023 7:30 pm

China's largest electric vehicle maker BYD  has slashed the prices of its models to intensify competition in the biggest auto market.  

According to its social media account, customers who order the Song Plus and Seal versions between March 10 and March 31, will receive the discounts.

Buyers of Seal EVs can receive a discount of 8,888 yuan ($12.64) in exchange for an 88 yuan ($12.64) deposit; for Song Plus versions, the reduction is 6,888 yuan.

Reporters who visited BYD stores confirmed the price cut, but the company insisted that the price-cutting initiative came from dealers, rather than from BYD itself.

According to retail sales data from China Merchants Bank International, BYD, which sells electrified versions of its Dynasty and Ocean series vehicles, outsold Volkswagen for the second time in four months in February.

BYD sold 34,621 Song Plus SUVs and 14,372 Seal sedans in the first two months, data from China Passenger Car Association showed.

In comparison, Tesla sold 21,056 Model 3s and 39,710 Model Ys in the months of January and February combined.

The price of its Model 3 is closer to the BYD Seal, which starts at 225,800 yuan, after the cut. When the Seal was first introduced, the Model 3 was priced about 10,000 yuan higher in China.

Tesla wants to increase exports and enter new markets to absorb production from its Shanghai facility as competition heats up. Tesla has begun shipping vehicles to Thailand, where it also earlier this month installed its first Supercharger station.

In China, EV sales grew significantly in 2022 and the two years prior, primarily due to subsidies and their reduction scheme.

According to figures from CEIC and the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, 23.5 million new passenger automobiles were sold in China last year, a rise of 10% from 2021. (CAAM). Battery and plug-in hybrid electric cars (BEV and PHEV) made up over 26% of all units, which is about twice as many as in 2021.