BYD India to miss 2023 target by over 70%, localised Atto3 and Seal launch deferred to 2024
Product delays as well as challenges in securing homologation certification for the Atto3 SUV impact growth plans of the electric vehicle OEM in India.
BYD, the fastest growing electric brand in the world that has challenged Tesla globally, has hit multiple roadblocks in India. Autocar Professional learns that the maker of the E6 MPV and the Atto3 SUV is likely to miss its India sales targets by over 70 to 80 percent in 2023.
Not only has BYD India witnessed product delays but it has even faced challenges on securing homologation certificates for its sought-after SUV Atto3. As a result, the localised version of the SUV and imported Seal high- performance sedan, both of which were scheduled to be launched this year, have both been moved to 2024, say people in the know.
A screening by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence earlier in the year fined BYD to the tune of $9 million as per a Reuters report for underpaying taxes – an episode that also may have posed a significant headwind to the EV OEM’s expansion plan.
The Reuters report had stated that BYD had not met the necessary conditions to benefit from the lower tax rates, making the automaker liable to pay either 70 percent or 100 percent based on the car's value. The penalty has been paid and the company will now look to achieve the numbers in 2024 similar to the numbers it had planned in 2023.
"The focus on India has not waned in any which way. It is, in fact, gotten even more active. The plans are aggressive for 2024 and the company is confident of doing significantly better next year once the homologation is done," said a person close to the developments.
Apart from meeting the ecosystem frequently during 2023, the company is close to securing a homologation certificate for the Atto3 in November. By 2024, BYD will have two different versions of the Atto3 – the current version and the new one will come with an updated advanced motor. Then, there will be the E6 and the new Seal.
BYD SEES GOOD MARKET RESPONSE IN INDIA
While the brand has not been able to accelerate its India story, yet it continues to be the leader in the Rs 30 lakh to Rs 50 lakh segment, ahead of Hyundai and Kia thanks to the good response to its models.
“Demand is not an issue at all, it is about getting the supplies in place to build volumes in the country. India is seen as a critical international base for BYD’s emerging markets plan,” said another person in the know.
Meanwhile, the BYD's top management from China representing Indian operations has been consistently in touch with the local ecosystem with meetings in neighbouring countries.
BYD had plans to ramp up assembly at its facility on the outskirts of Chennai, which has a capacity to produce about 20,000 vehicles per annum. Beyond that, the company has been in discussion with alliance partner MEIL for local manufacturing – a proposal on the same has been presented to the government already.
The company had sold close to 2,000 units in 2022. This year too with sales of 2,500 units, it will still post 20-25 percent growth.
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