By Kylie Madry
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Chinese electric-vehicle maker BYD said on Tuesday it will launch its cars in Mexico next year, with a senior executive pegging its sales target at up to 30,000 vehicles in 2024.
Next year, BYD will begin selling fully electric versions of its Tang sport utility vehicle (SUV) alongside its Han sedan through seven dealers across Mexico, the company’s country head Zou Zhou told Reuters ahead of the announcement.
The world’s largest EV maker by sales hopes to sell 10,000 vehicles in Mexico in 2023 and between 20,000 and 30,000 in 2024, Zhou said, adding that the firm’s long-term goal is to reach around 10% of total market share.
As per Mexico’s Automotive Industry Association, just 4.5% of cars sold in the first eight months of this year were hybrid, or around 31,000 of nearly 693,000 sold in total.
While BYD declined to name starting prices of its vehicles in Mexico, Zhou emphasized on the company’s affordability. “We are the brand for everybody,” Zhou said.
In September, BYD had set pre-sale prices for its Tanga and Han models at 72,000 euros ($72,500) in Europe. Few Mexicans make more than $10,000 a year, according to the country’s statistics agency.
BYD’s Zhou also said the company aimed to sell cars through 15 licensed dealers in Mexico by the end of 2023 and hit 40 by 2024. Mexican department store chain Liverpool will also sell the cars, BYD said.
The company’s announcement comes as Mexico, a major car producing hub, looks to make EVs more affordable by cutting sales taxes and import tariffs — moves Zhou said marked a positive step.
In recent months, officials in Mexico have said the country is on track to meet its goal of turning 50% of automotive production electric by 2030.
However, a General Motors executive said this month Mexico will more likely reach just 15% by 2030 if it does not change course.
Zhou said as U.S. states such as California go fully electric, Mexico — which produces a vast amount of cars for its northern neighbors — will likely follow.
($1 = 0.9654 euros)
(Reporting by Kylie Madry; Editing by Sarah Morland and Uttaresh.V)