China’s BYD dreams that one day could reach Tesla’s success, but it first needs to improve its brand image, the electric-maker said.
The Warren Buffet backed automaker and China’s largest producer of electric and plug-in hybrid cars has set some high goals on mid-term. However, the hype around Tesla’s Model 3 made BYD better realize that electric cars will have a bright future, but only if the brand behind them has a solid reputation. Therefore, BYD needs to work on its image and this it is exactly what the company plans for the coming years, said Stella Li, BYD’s senior vice president. In this respect, the company’s technological know-how in this direction has to be backed up by a solid brand image. “We don’t have the ability now to sell tens of thousands of cars before producing a single one,” Li said in an interview in Beijing, quoted by Bloomberg. “The day we can do that will be the day our brand is established.”
There still is a long way ahead, as BYD’s Hong Kong-traded shares have declined 15 percent in the past year, compared with the about 19 percent gain in Tesla’s stock. However, BYD has a wider range of electric- related businesses, as it makes anything from traditional cars to mobile-phone batteries. It also produces electric buses and Li said that the company aimed to increase the output capacity of its US bus plant to about 1,000 units a year from the current 300. As for this year, BYD expects to deliver up to 150,000 units in China, up from the 58,000 it sold last year.