Tesla Model 3’s strongest rival in China, the BYD Seal electric sedan, is now 10 percent cheaper across all five trim levels in its home market. Some of the new configurations significantly undercut their Model 3 equivalents.
The rear-wheel-drive BYD Seal Standard now starts around $27,500 (189,800 yuan) in China, making it almost 11 percent cheaper than a previous version with the same CLTC driving range of 342 miles (550 km).
More significantly, this particular model is also 18 percent cheaper than the Tesla Model 3 RWD, which offers a similar range of 345 miles (556 km).
Three other BYD Seal trim levels on sale in China – Luxury, Performance, and Performance AWD – also saw significant price cuts of 9.8 percent, 8.7 percent, and 3.3 percent, respectively, according to CarNewsChina.
China’s EV market is in the midst of a price war started by Tesla earlier this year, and BYD’s price cuts are in response to that.
The Chinese automaker launched the Seal sedan under its Ocean vehicle series in July 2022 and was selling over 10,000 copies per month at the end of the year. However, after Tesla cut Model 3 prices in January 2023, BYD Seal monthly sales fell to 6,000-7,000 units.
The company sold 19,573 Seal cars in the first quarter of 2023, compared to 42,782 sales for the Tesla Model 3 in the same period, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association cited by Reuters. With the new price cuts, BYD is hoping to boost sales of its electric luxury sedan.
Last month, the Chinese company also confirmed that the Seal EV is coming to Europe this year, joining the Atto 3 compact crossover, Han mid-size sedan, and Tang seven-seat mid-size SUV.
The BYD Seal will arrive in the brand’s European stores in September and will be available with an 82-kWh Blade LFP battery with either rear- or all-wheel-drive. The RWD model features a 230-kilowatt (308-horsepower) electric motor and offers a WLTP combined range of 354 miles (570 km), while the AWD variant has 390 kW (523 hp) from two motors and covers up to 323 miles (520 km) on a single charge.
Pricing in Europe will be announced later, so it remains to be seen if BYD will adopt a similar strategy to the employed in China.
Source: CarNewsChina via Reuters
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