BYD is aiming to produce electric cars in Europe from 2025 onwards and is currently looking for locations in France, Spain and Germany. Although the Chinese automotive giant has not yet revealed a preference for these locations, one country has already been ruled out.
A BYD spokesperson told CarNewsChina that the company is looking at several locations for its first European plant for electric cars. BYD has previously confirmed that the UK has been ruled out because of Brexit and that the final location will be determined later this year.
In France, a minister recently confirmed talks with BYD, and insiders say Spain and Germany are also in the running – although concrete locations or regions in these three countries are not yet been mentioned.
BYD manager Stella Li announced in December 2022 that the Chinese manufacturer was planning at least one and perhaps two passenger car plants on the European continent.
In January, there were reports that Ford was negotiating with BYD about selling its plant in Saarlouis, but it is still unclear whether Saarlouis is one of the German locations that BYD would actually consider. CarNewsChina refers to other reports that BYD’s “European strategy favours building new plants rather than taking over existing ones”.
BYD already has a history in France from when it operated an electric bus plant there, but stopped production in November 2021 due to low demand. BYD stated at the time that it wanted to remain active in the French market despite the closure.
BYD launched three electric models in some European countries last year, including Germany. In Spain, the third candidate for the plant location, BYD has been active since spring when it launched 2 electric car models on the Spanish market.
Later this year, two more models, the Dolphin compact car and the Seal electric sedan, will be launched in Europe.
BYD is recently expanding to new countries where they will not only sell cars but also add new factories worldwide. In April this year, Chilean authorities announced that BYD is planning a battery material factory in Chile.
Also this year, BYD began the construction of an electric car plant in Thailand, which will start operation in 2024, with further plans for factories in Vietnam, while CarNewsChina says discussions are underway for the same with the Phillippines and Indonesia.