China’s BYD wants to outsell Toyota in Australia by 2030

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Hybrid and electric-car specialist BYD has set a bold target to be among Australia’s Top Five selling new-car brands by 2025 – and number one by the end of the decade.


The local distributor of Chinese hybrid and electric-car giant BYD has announced a bold goal to become the best-selling new-car brand in Australia by the end of the decade.

BYD – short for Build Your Dreams – arrived in Australia in earnest late last year and is on track to deliver 12,000 electric cars this year.

However executives for the company have stated an ambition to Top Five brand in Australia by 2025 – which would need to see it sell about 70,000 cars annually, outselling the likes of Tesla, Subaru, Isuzu, MG, Volkswagen and Mitsubishi.

And the company claims it wants to take the number-one spot from Toyota – which it has held continuously since 2003, last year reporting 231,000 deliveries – by the end of the decade.

If the Chinese car maker can reach its bold target in the specified timeframe, it would be the fastest ramp-up for a new manufacturer in Australian motoring history.

The highest position a Chinese car maker has placed in the annual sales race in Australia is seventh – claimed by MG last year, reporting about 50,000 deliveries.

Last year South Korean car giant Kia was the third-best selling new-car brand in the country – but it took more than 25 years (since its 1996 arrival) to reach that spot.

BYD – and its Australian distributor – have outlined an ambition to launch at least two new models in the local market every year.

This year, the brand’s Atto 3 small electric SUV was joined by the Dolphin electric city hatch and Seal electric sedan – while next year it is due to add a mid-size SUV known as the Seal U, and its first ute, both planned to arrive with plug-in hybrid power ahead of electric versions at a later date.

“For our target of being a Top Five brand, it’s somewhere in 2025. And then we would continue to grow beyond 2026,” Luke Todd, CEO of BYD’s Australian distributor EVDirect, told a local media conference this week.

“We believe that’s firmly achievable, with the product range we will have, the success we’ve had so far with the Atto 3, the price point of both the Dolphin and Seal, and the interest level we’ve had in both those vehicles since they launched.

“So we’ve been very successful in the first 18 months, but our trajectory will continue to grow very strongly from here.”

When asked if 2030 is the time by when BYD aims to become the number-one brand, Mr Todd said: “We’d like to think … earlier than that.”

To outsell Toyota in Australia – which has been Number One since 2003, overtaking Holden for the final time – BYD would need to deliver well over 200,000 cars locally in a calendar year, a feat which only the Japanese car giant has ever achieved.

Toyota sells 17 passenger, SUV and light-commercial vehicle models in Australia to achieve its leading sales result.

Asked how many models BYD plans to sell in Australia come 2030, Mr Todd said: “We’ve committed to a minimum of two vehicles every year … If you do the maths that’s a little bit less than what you just mentioned for Toyota.”

Alongside the bold sales targets, BYD in China renewed its ties with its Australian distributor, and announced plans for 30 new showrooms and “more service outlets” in the next 18 months.

It made the announcement at a new facility near Sydney Airport specialising in vehicle servicing, panel repairs, and training of mechanics to work on electric vehicles.

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Alex Misoyannis has been writing about cars since 2017, when he started his own website, Redline. He contributed for Drive in 2018, before joining CarAdvice in 2019, becoming a regular contributing journalist within the news team in 2020.

Cars have played a central role throughout Alex’s life, from flicking through car magazines at a young age, to growing up around performance vehicles in a car-loving family.

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