Electric vehicles | China in ambush

Financially more accessible electric vehicles. This is what China promises to the entire planet. Europe has accepted, the United States is resisting, but Canada is not closing the door. The federal government believes that these Chinese proposals would allow it to achieve the target it has set (sales of new zero-emission vehicles from 2035).

The question is not if Chinese brands will market vehicles in Canada, but when. For several years now, BYD (Build Your Dreams) taxis have been plying the streets of Greater Montreal. It’s difficult to imagine such an exhaustive test to evaluate the performance (in a very broad sense) of a product. It is above all a boon for its manufacturer. This is able to collect a wealth of information (energy efficiency in cold weather, stiffness of components on bumpy roads, consumer expectations, etc.). A considerable advantage compared to other young companies whose vehicles have not been tested in our latitudes.

BYD expands

Like a few other Chinese brands, BYD is weaving its web. Moreover, it has already indicated its intention to build facilities in Mexico in the hope, this time, of taking the North American market by storm. The bet is not won. Many specialists believe that the Chinese brand will have difficulty selling at such competitive prices due to customs barriers or certain provisions of the Canada–United States–Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). Other manufacturers, among the fifty in China currently, have similar export plans. A desire for conquest which finds part of its explanation in the price war currently raging in China, but also the temporary (?) decline in its sales.

Regardless of the path they take to charm new territories, “the Chinese will mainly seek to occupy the entry-level market,” thinks the head of an American firm.

“We can only blame ourselves since this segment has long been snubbed by us, the traditional manufacturers. » Honda is considering creating an inexpensive electric car with Nissan since General Motors withdrew from the project. It is rumored that Tesla would have thrown in the towel on the Model 2 (an inexpensive model), but Elon Musk denied this information reported by the Reuters news agency.

Currently, BYD products – this also applies to other Chinese brands – sell on average 25% less than those of their immediate competitors on the European market. A boon for consumers in the Old Continent who, last year, purchased 130,000 units, according to a study published by the analysis firm PwC.

source site-54