Chinese BYD intends to build one or two European car factories

The Chinese car and bus manufacturer BYD (Build Your Dreams) has expressed an interest in building its own car factories in Europe. This move would support its European expansion and overcome issues with getting the cars shipped to our shores in the long term. For now, China’s biggest EV maker will start by buying up to six car carriers to manage its own shipping.

BYD has kicked off its European offensive with three electric models: the large Han sedan and Tang SUV, and the more compact SUV Atto 3, which are already available to buy or will be available in early 2023.

More models are expected on the horizon. BYD promises short delivery times, but if it wants to keep this promise as sales figures rise, it will need to sort out the shipping problem.

My kingdom for a ship

As a result of shortages and other supply chain issues, shipping is still expensive, and space on cargo ships is hard to come by, although the situation has improved compared to about a year ago.

As BYD grows its export business, the shipping issue will become bigger and bigger. “Due to the size of BYD, when we go to shipping companies, their service cannot satisfy us,” BYD manager Stella Li told Bloomberg.

To tackle this problem, BYD is looking into a two-pronged approach: first, the manufacturer has decided to buy its own cargo ships. Six of them, to be precise, with two more available as an option, with a total price of nearly 700 million euros.

Each ship will be able to carry 7 700 vehicles, and the first one will be delivered by 2025. BYD is not alone in choosing to take control over its own shipping; SAIC (Maxus, MG) has also ordered seven boats with a capacity of 8 900 vehicles each.

Going local

The second option that BYD is investigating is building its own European car factory. Or even two if the European demand is sufficient to justify the costs. No details have yet been announced regarding the location or timeline, but it’s clear that the European launch of these Chinese manufacturers isn’t a half-hearted attempt.


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