BYD’s new EV, priced under $10,000, is striking fear among rivals

 

Leading EV maker BYD shook up the industry by unveiling the new Seagull (Dolphin Mini), with a starting price of less than $9,700 (69,800 yuan). Although BYD’s new EV, nicknamed the “Lamborghini Mini,” is not sold in the US, American automakers are taking notice.

 

BYD’s new Seagull EV shocks the industry

BYD launched the new Seagull EV Honor Edition (Dolphin Mini abroad) earlier this month, with a “shocking price” starting at about $9,700 (69,800 yuan).

Powered by BYD’s blade battery, the new EV is available in 30.08 kWh and 38.88 kWh versions. The first is good for up to 190 miles (305 km) of CLTC range, while the second offers up to 252 miles (405 km). It can charge from 30% to 80% in 30 minutes.

The inside doesn’t look like a cheap EV, with a 10.1″ rotating center screen and otherwise minimalist design.

With Dlink’s intelligent network, users can interact and play videos. According to local reports, the Seagull has earned the nickname “Lamborghini Mini”, as former Lamborghini designer Wolfgang Egger led the design.

Perhaps more importantly, BYD reportedly makes a profit on the Lamborghini Mini, which has American automakers worried.

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BYD Dolphin Mini (Seagull) launched in Brazil (Source: BYD)

According to Terry Woychowski, former GM executive and current president of automotive at CareSoft Global, BYD’s new Seagull could be “a clarion call to the rest of the industry.”

in a new cnbc According to the report, Woychowski called the low-cost electric car “an important phenomenon” that American automakers want to maintain.

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BYD’s new Seagull EV (Source: BYD)

US automakers look for affordable EVs to compete

CareSoft, an engineering consulting firm, inspects every part of the vehicle (digitally and physically) to determine how its clients can improve efficiency.

After studying the new BYD Seagull, the firm found it to be simply and efficiently designed, manufactured and executed. However, CareSoft found the quality and reliability to be better than expected.

Woychowski explained, “He did what he did very well.” “It’s been expertly done.” For under $10,000, it’s a steal.

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BYD Seagull (Dolphin Mini) test (Source: BYD)

Although BYD has no plans to enter the US passenger EV market, if the Seagull comes to the US, it will still be thousands of dollars cheaper than the average electric car.

BYD launches the Seagull EV in South America as the Dolphin Mini. In Brazil, the starting price of an EV is around $20,000 (99,800 BRL).

Meanwhile, American automakers are preparing for the inevitable. “Over time we’ve seen automotive manufacturers finally enter all the markets that matter,” Marin Gazza, chief operating officer of the Ford Model E, said in a recent interview. cnbc,

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BYD Seagull (Dolphin Mini) Interior (Source: BYD)

Ford is shifting plans to focus on smaller, more affordable EVs, including compact electric pickups and SUVs. According to sources, the first model is expected to be launched in 2026, with a starting price of around $25,000.

Rival GM plans to introduce the next-generation Chevy Bolt EV based on its Ultium platform next year. According to CFO Paul Jacobson, the new Bolt EV will save billions as its first Ultium-based model to use LFP batteries. Ford is also planning to use LFP batteries for its next generation models to cut costs.

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American automakers are already losing market share. The “Big Three”, including Ford, GM and Chrysler (now owned by Stellantis), have increased their share of the US market from 75% in 1984 to about 40% in 2023.

Ford CEO Jim Farley warned at the Wolfe Research conference last month that if automakers fail to keep pace with Chinese automakers like BYD, “20% to 30% of your revenue is at risk.”

Farley also called BYD’s new Seagull EV “pretty cool,” while warning the industry. The Ford leader said, “As the CEO of a company that was having trouble competing with the Japanese and the South Koreans, we had to fix this problem.”

The American automaker is developing a low-cost EV platform led by Alan Clark, who previously oversaw engineering on Tesla’s Model Y.

Amid the shift to small EVs, Ford is reportedly shelving plans to launch a large three-row electric SUV. Farley said it’s too expensive to build large EVs like the F-150 Lightning.

Meanwhile, BYD has launched a “liberation war” against gas-powered vehicles, as it calls it. The Chinese automaker has launched a range of low-cost EVs, including an updated version of its best-selling Dolphin.

BYD has a major advantage because it manufactures almost all the components for its vehicles. For example, everything for the BYD Dolphin is made in-house, except for the windows and tires.

Reports suggest BYD’s next-generation EV platform could reduce costs even further, increasing pressure on US automakers to act.

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