BYD has no plans to enter the US Market amid “complications’ [Feature]

(Credit: BYD/Weibo)

China’s top new energy vehicle manufacturer, BYD, has no plans to enter the United States auto market. 

BYD Executive Vice President and CEO of BYD Americas Stella Li sat down with Yahoo Finance, and talked about the Chinese automaker’s lack of presence in the US Market and the global electric vehicle (EV) market. 

“Complications” in the US EV Market

Li explained BYD’s reasons for staying out of the United States EV market. The BYD Vice President alluded to complications within the United States, particularly a slowdown in the EV market.

“It’s an interesting market, but it’s very complicated if you’re talking about EV, and then I think the US market is a little bit slowdown on electrification, and there are a lot of confusing, also very complicated, so we’re saying, ‘No…we don’t have plans to come to the US,” said Li.

In late 2023, a few publications, automakers, and auto suppliers hinted that electric vehicle sales in the United States would slow down in 2024. Ford and General Motors (GM) announced plans to scale down EV production this year

Some theorized that GM and Ford scaled back EV production plans because there was not enough demand for electric vehicles in the United States. However, some argue there is strong EV demand in the United States, just not for the electric vehicles GM and Ford offer. 

For instance, Hyundai and Kia claimed to see strong demand for electric vehicles in the United States. Together, the Korean car companies came in second in EV car sales in the United States last year behind Tesla–by a large margin.

Interest rates are another factor that might be contributing to slow EV sales. LG Energy Solution warned of slow revenue growth in 2024 amid rising interest rates. Tesla CEO Elon Musk shared a similar concern in one of TSLA’s earnings calls in 2023.

“I am worried about the high interest rate environment that we’re in. I just can’t emphasize this enough: that the vast majority of people buying a car is about the monthly payment. And as interest rates rise, the proportion of that monthly payment that is interest increases naturally,” commented Musk.

United States and China Relations

Li was also asked if politics played any role in BYD’s decision to stay out of the United States. 

“Everything is complicated. Politics are complicated…and its confusing for the consumer, and then they don’t know which to choose,” Li said. 

The Biden Administration is working toward building an auto supply chain in the United States that isn’t entirely dependent on China or other nations. The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 aims to encourage companies to invest in North America or nations with US trade agreements. It also incentivizes companies to build supply chains within those same parameters.

Unfortunately, China has been labeled a foreign entity of concern (FEOC) under the IRA. Any EVs with components are not eligible for the IRA’s EV tax credits. Chinese companies with close ties to China’s national government may also get an FEOC designation.

Given the present political climate, it may not be the right time for BYD to enter the US market. However, it is not crossing off all of the Americas. BYD has invested some in South America recently and is even rumored to be looking at a sites in Mexico. One of the sites is near Tesla’s Giga Mexico.

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Maria Merano: Veteran writer and editor, who believes harmony between tech and nature is achievable. We just need to learn to compromise.
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