China’s BYD launches electric cars in Indonesia, aims to be market leader

JAKARTA, (Reuters) – China’s BYD (002594.SZ), opens new tab, the world’s biggest electric vehicle maker, unveiled three battery EV models in Indonesia on Thursday as it seeks to become market leader in the segment in Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.
BYD overtook Tesla (TSLA.O), opens new tab as the world’s top EV maker in the fourth quarter, with most of the 526,000 vehicles it sold going to the China market.

In 2023, the Chinese firm sold 3.02 million electric vehicles, including battery EVs and plug-in hybrids.
BYD’s Indonesia president, Eagle Zhao, said the company aimed for the same market-leading position in Indonesia that it had achieved globally.
“Of course in Indonesia we also should have such kind of very aggressive target,” he told reporters.
Chinese automaker Wuling Motors’ Air EV and the Ioniq 5 from South Korea’s Hyundai Motor were the two best-selling battery electric cars in Indonesia last year.
In Southeast Asia, BYD has been outperforming other automakers in EV sales, bolstered by affordable models and partnerships with local distributors.
The company has been offering electric buses and taxi fleets through local Indonesian partners, and said it would now also start selling the Dolphin hatchback, the Atto 3 sport utility vehicle and the Seal sedan.
Indonesia aims to accelerate EV adoption and lure investment into local battery production and EV supply chains that can take advantage of its rich reserves of nickel, a key battery material.
Chief Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said in a video message delivered at Thursday’s launch event that BYD was planning to invest $1.3 billion in facilities with production capacity of 150,000 vehicles.
BYD’s Zhao said the company was on track to build the facilities later this year as scheduled and it would establish a sales network of up to 50 outlets across the country by the end of 2024.

Reporting by Stefanno Sulaiman; Writing by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Edmund Klamann