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Daimler, BYD Launching New Battery Car

by on Feb.27, 2014

The new Daimler-BYD joint venture will launch its first battery-car concept, the Denza NEV, in Beijing.

Mercedes’ parent Daimler AG plans to launch an all-new battery-electric vehicle it has developed as part of a joint venture with China’s BYD. To be sold through the new Denza brand, it will make its debut in concept form at the upcoming Beijing Motor Show.

The show car will be called the NEV, short for New Energy Vehicle.  The hatchback will use a pure battery-electric design with its batteries mounted under the floor and its electric motor driving the front wheels.

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The German maker provided the basic vehicle architecture for the Denza NEV concept, along with key componentry, including the safety system.  BYD, already one of the key players in the emerging Chinese battery-car market, supplied the underlying drive system.


China’s BYD Ready to Launch into U.S. Market – Really.

Long-delayed debut could come in 2015, maker insists.

by on Jan.07, 2014

One of BYD's latest models, the F3R.

A New Year and an old promise.  Once again, China’s BYD says it is ready to finally enter the U.S. market.  It’s the same thing the maker has been claiming since showing off its products at the North American International Auto Show in 2010. But while the company will be notably absent from the Detroit show this year, a senior executive claims it is finally ready to make the jump across the Pacific.

The Chinese maker, which has the backing of U.S. mega-investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, plans to introduce four models into the U.S. by the end of 2015, according to Stella Li, who oversees operations in the States.

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But don’t expect the maker to simply come in and undercut the competition, notably “value-priced” brands like Hyundai and Kia, she told the Bloomberg News Service.

“BYD has become more fashionable and we have improved our design and safety. We don’t want to compete on price anymore, but on quality and innovation,” Li said, during an interview of Shenzhen, China.


Chinese Battery Car Maker BYD Launching Electric Buses in Ontario

Maker still promising to deliver first cars to U.S. “soon.”

by on May.07, 2012

BYD could produce its electric bus in Ontario, as well.

After years of repeated delays, Chinese battery-car maker BYD still hasn’t been able to plug into the U.S. market – but it’s getting closer.

The City of Windsor, Ontario has signed a letter of intent to purchase up to 10 BYD 40-foot electric buses for the community’s transit services in 2012 It will become the first City in North America to launch long-range, all-electric buses.

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The agreement also opens talks to bring manufacturing of BYD buses to the Ontario region in the near future. Transit Windsor has the unique distinction of running in Canada as well as in Detroit, making this launch one that serves on both sides of the U.S.-Canadian border.


Daimler, BYD Launch New Denza Battery Car Brand

First new product will debut at Beijing Motor Show.

by on Apr.02, 2012

Daimler and BYD launch the new Denza battery-car brand, debuting at the Beijing Motor Show.

Hoping to take advantage of China’s potentially huge battery-car market, Daimler will launch the new Denza brand with its Chinese partner, BYD.

A concept car hinting at what’s to come from the 50/50 joint venture will make its appearance, later this month at the 2012 Beijing Motor Show.  Production is set to begin in 2013, the partners revealed, adding that the new Denza brand’s slogan will be “EV the Future.”

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“We have the ideal partner in Daimler. BYD provides experience in battery technology and e-drive systems, as well as bringing EVs into operation on the streets of China,” said BYD’s president, Wang Chuanfu. “In connection with Daimler’s design of premium autos, know-how in electric vehicle architecture and safety, and more than 125 years of experience in automotive excellence, DENZA is on the right track to become the leader in the New Energy Vehicle market in China.”


China’s BYD Dedicates L.A. headquarters.

Is long-delayed American debut finally at hand?

by on Oct.25, 2011

BYD has finally dedicated its new U.S. headquarters building in Los Angeles.

Chinese battery car maker BYD is taking a giant step closer to finally launching itself into the U.S. market with today’s opening of its U.S. headquarters.

With the debut of the new Los Angeles facility, the company promised to create 150 jobs as it puts a small number of 40-passenger electric buses into operation as shuttles at the Hertz rental office at Los Angeles International Airport.  But precisely when its e6 battery-electric SUV and other models will actually go on sale to the U.S. public remains anything but certain after a series of delays.

Short for Build Your Dreams, the Shenzhen-based maker has run into a number of problems that have seen its sales, earnings – and stock price – plunge over the last year.

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“L.A. and Shenzhen  are definitely the innovation centers for each of our nations,” proclaimed Wang Chuan-fu, BYD’s founder and chairman, during a dedication ceremony that drew an assortment of dignitaries and investors – including Charlie Munger, vice chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.

The investment arm for Warren Buffett, it currently holds a 9.9% stake in BYD worth $232 million after the two-thirds plunge the Chinese company’s stock has taken over the past year.


Big Trouble at BYD

Chinese battery-car maker preparing major layoffs, looking for ways to reverse plunging demand.

by on Sep.06, 2011

BYD's dreams have lately turned into nightmares.

The name, BYD, is short for Build Your Dreams, but these days, it’s more like a nightmare for the once-promising Chinese battery-car maker.

With sales this year off by 23%, the maker is planning to lay off as many as 2,600 workers – somewhat ironically, most of them initially coming from its sales and marketing department.  Looking for a way to revive its faltering momentum, the company is exploring the possibility of moving the manufacturer up-market, it says.

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The maker’s problems could cause further delays in its planned entrance into the U.S. market.  Already pushed back by several years, BYD had been hoping to set up a network of stores that would not only handle the maker’s battery-cars and plug-in hybrids but also sell a mix of green technologies ranging from solar chargers to LED light bulbs.


BYD Will Sell You LED Bulbs With Your e6 Battery Car

Chinese maker's dealerships will be an all-in-one outlet for the green-minded motorist.

by on Jan.11, 2011

Will the long-delayed BYD e6 finally reach the American market in 2012?

After a series of delays, Chinese automaker BYD is finally getting ready for its formal U.S. retail launch, company officials declared during a news conference at the Detroit Auto Show.

And the truly green-minded motorist will find more than just the e6 battery car and F3DM hybrid once the first in a planned network of regional showrooms open up in early 2012, they proclaimed.  BYD – which stands for “Build Your Dreams” –  wants those outlets to be something of an environmentally-friendly superstore, offering not only battery cars but the solar generation system that can provide power and even LED light bulbs to cut the energy needs of a motorists’ home.

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“Our vision is not just cars,” explained Chuan-fu Wang, BYD’s founder and chairman, speaking through an interpreter.  The goal is to provide, “a truly zero-emission solution, not just for transferring emissions” from the tailpipe to the smokestack.


BYD Bringing Two Battery Cars To Detroit Show

Despite recent setbacks, Chinese maker determined to enter U.S. market.

by on Dec.27, 2010

BYD plans to unveil a new version of the e6 battery car, dubbed the e6Premier, at next month's North American International Auto Show.

Despite recent setbacks, Chinese maker BYD is determined to enter the U.S. market – and it plans to give potential buyers a taste of what’s to come with the two battery-based vehicles it will unveil at the Detroit Auto Show, next month.

BYD will stage two world premieres, including the unveiling of a pure battery-electric crossover, the e6Premier, as well as the S6DM plug-in hybrid-electric vehicle.

This will mark BYD’s fourth appearance at the Detroit Auto Show, the most significant and widely-watched automotive event in North America.  Observers are betting that the Chinese maker will use its 25-minute news conference to lay out plans for finally launching its much-delayed U.S. dealer network.

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The e6, if it meets expectations, could help overcome the so-called “range anxiety” issue that many experts anticipate will limit sales of pure battery-electric vehicles, or BEVs.  While most can only manage 100 miles per charge, even with the latest lithium-ion batteries, BYD claims the e6Premier can manage 186 miles, in city driving and hit a top speed of 87 mph.

Using a variant of lithium technology, known as iron-phosphate, e6 reportedly can recharge in as little as six hours on a household plug or just 40 minutes using a 440-volt fast charger.  The numbers, however, have raised skepticism among some observers.


Is BYD Ready To Go Bust?

Ambitious Chinese maker’s fortunes take a serious turn for the worse.

by on Oct.27, 2010

Late for an American debut, the BYD E6.

Its name is short for “Build Your Dreams,” but could the “B” in BYD soon stand for “bust”?

It’s starting to look like that for the Chinese firm that started out as a cellphone battery supplier but has morphed into one of that country’s more ambitious, home-grown automakers.

The Shenzhen-based firm, which is backed by American mega-investor Warren Buffett, has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months, ranging from recalls to confrontations with Chinese authorities.  But the latest problem could be one that BYD has trouble rectifying.

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The maker reported a 99% drop in third-quarter earnings, this week, triggering an equally sharp downturn in its stock price, which is nearing its 52-week low.  Whether the company’s charismatic founder and chairman, Wang Changfu, can turn things around remains to be seen, but there are few signs of any immediate turnaround.

It wasn’t supposed to go that way.  BYD’s little F3 has been the best-selling car in China this year, but is feeling the pinch of regulatory changes.