Three sources with direct knowledge of BYD’s plans told Reuters the Chinese company plans to invest $1 billion in India to produce batteries and finish car bodies, according to their plan. With local partner Megha Engineering and Infrastructures as its local partner, BYD is looking to produce hatchbacks as well as luxury models using these plans; plans for charging stations as well as research and development centers were included as part of its proposal submitted to Indian regulators according to sources close to this development.
BYD has long desired to sell its vehicles across Asia and has established itself in China’s biggest EV market; recently outselling Tesla Motors Inc for the first time by shipping 355,021 pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles from April to June alone compared with their US rival. Warren Buffett-backed BYD has made significant strides to establish itself as a global leader in battery technology; yet overall vehicle sales still lag significantly behind Tesla.
To achieve its goals, Tesla must compete with various rivals in the world’s fastest-growing car market and adapt to an ever-shifting policy environment characterized by decreasing government support for electric vehicles as it transitions toward quotas and credits beginning in 2020.
Stella Li is confident in BYD’s prospects despite its many obstacles, noting the recent success of its launches of electric SUVs in Europe with advanced high-powered battery variants to improve performance and range.
She stated that BYD expects its EV sales to increase during the second half of 2019. According to Association of Automobile Manufacturers of India data from 2022, electric vehicles accounted for 1.6% of total vehicle sales in the country; BYD hopes to raise that share to 30% by 2030.
BYD’s expansion in India comes as BYD works to navigate through the challenges associated with operating as a foreign company in a country which has recently tightened controls on investment from Chinese firms, prompting Great Wall Motor Co to drop its bid for a mothballed General Motors plant and SAIC Motor Corp’s MG Motor unit to look for local partners for its project MG Motor India was eventually sold off to Mahindra Group consortium; BYD remains to see if its proposal faces similar hurdles but to counter potential restrictions it is positioning itself as global technology powerhouse rather than Chinese only brand to counter such concerns about these regulations.