BYD said to eye Germany, France, Spain for European car production

BYD said to eye Germany, France, Spain for European car production

Automotive News Europe — 2023-05-25

Automotive Industry

BYD is looking at three Western European countries as possible locations for a car plant, according to various media reports.

The fast-growing Chinese automaker is talking to the French government about building a factory in the country, the French newspaper Les Echos reported. But Germany and Spain are other potential locations, according to Chinese media reports. The U.K. is not a contender because of Brexit, the reports said.

BYD Executive Vice President Stella Li told Bloomberg in 2023 February that the automaker wants to build cars in Europe and is carrying out feasibility studies.

BYD is more likely to establish its own plant than take over a factory that is being closed by an established automaker, such as Ford's Saarlouis factory in Germany.

The company plans to determine the location for the plant before the end of the year and aims to begin production in 2025, reports said.

A BYD store in Cologne, Germany.

BYD began its expansion into Europe in 2022 with three full-electric models: the Atto 3 compact crossover, the Tang large SUV and the Han large sedan. The Dolphin small hatchback will arrive at European dealerships in 2023 June and the Seal sedan will go on sale in Europe in 2023 September.

BYD's European markets now include Germany, France, the U.K., Spain and the Scandinavian countries, with more to follow. The company has an electric bus factory in Hungary, which opened in 2016.