China’s BYD prices new version of best-selling EV lower than predecessor

BEIJING, (Reuters) – China’s leading electric vehicle (EV) maker BYD on Monday launched a new version of its best-selling car at a price lower than the final price of its discontinued predecessor, as a price war rages in the world’s largest automobile market.

BYD has already set lower launch prices for a slew of models as EV rivals including domestic peer Geely Auto and U.S. champion Tesla likewise introduce incentives to woo customers in a cooling market.

China’s top-selling EV maker has set a starting price for its new Yuan Plus crossover – known as the Atto 3 in overseas markets – at 119,800 yuan ($16,644), BYD said in a Weibo post.

That is 11.8% lower than the final sales price of the version it has replaced, Reuters calculations showed.

BYD sold 412,202 Yuan Plus EVs in 2023, with 100,020 of them exported, or 42% of its total car exports for that year, data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers showed.

The automaker has been counting on overseas markets for higher profit margins. The Atto 3 is sold with a starting price of A$48,011 ($31,336) in Australia, 85% higher than in China.

($1 = 7.1976 yuan)

($1 = 1.5321 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Qiaoyi Li, Zhang Yan and Brenda Goh; Editing by Christopher Cushing