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Spurned by India, Chinese EV maker BYD plans to make it big in Japan, gets aggressive with their strategy

China’s BYD (Build Your Dreams) has announced plans to start selling its second electric vehicle model in Japan this month.

Having been denied a request to set up a factory in India, BYD has been desperate to expand outside China. To that end, BYD is actively pursuing its strategy and making seriously aggressive moves.

BYD Expands its Portfolio in Japan
The automaker will begin taking orders for its Dolphin electric car on September 20, potentially posing a challenge to Japanese rivals grappling with competition from BYD and other domestic manufacturers in China’s rapidly growing electric vehicle market.

BYD will also reveal the pricing details for the Dolphin model on that date. In China, the Dolphin starts at 116,800 yuan ($16,092.14).

Notably, BYD intends to offer battery-powered vehicles in Japan exclusively and will not introduce other powertrain technologies, such as plug-in hybrids, where it has a strong presence in the Chinese market.

Another model incoming
The company plans to offer regular and long-range versions of the Dolphin compatible with Japan’s CHAdeMO charging standard. Additionally, BYD plans to introduce its Seal model in Japan by the end of this year or early next year.

While BYD has not disclosed specific sales targets for Japan, it is actively expanding its presence there. Since opening its first Japanese dealership in Yokohama in February, BYD has sold approximately 700 ATTO 3 electric sports utility vehicles, which retail for 4.4 million yen ($30,205.26). The automaker aims to establish more than 100 dealerships in Japan by the end of 2025, and it recently signed a car dealership contract with the Japanese trading house Sojitz.

When the Indian Government rejected BYD
Recent developments indicate that the Indian government had rejected the proposal by BYD and its proposed Indian manufacturing partner, Hyderabad-based Megha Engineering and Infrastructures Ltd, to establish an electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing plant in India.

The companies had jointly applied to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) for the project, which included setting up a factory for manufacturing EVs and batteries in Hyderabad.

The rejection of this proposal signifies a setback for BYD’s plans to invest $1 billion in India and expand its presence in the country’s growing EV market. Whether the companies will reevaluate their plans or seek alternative avenues for investment and collaboration in India’s EV sector remains to be seen.

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