(MENAFN) Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD has introduced a new sport-utility vehicle (SUV) model designed to compete with Tesla's locally-produced Model Y in Shanghai, as reported by a Chinese news outlet on Monday.
The SUV, unveiled at the Guangzhou Auto Show on Friday, is part of BYD's newly launched premium Sea Lion brand. Named Sea Lion 07, this fully electric SUV is slated to be priced between 200,000 yuan (USD27,879) and 260,000 yuan (USD36,270), according to the report. The vehicle is equipped with BYD's in-house-developed DiSus body control system, which aims to minimize the risk of vehicle rollover during high-speed cornering.
Industry analysts cited in the report suggest that BYD has set its sights on challenging established models produced by Tesla, the current leader in China's premium electric vehicle (EV) segment. The competition between BYD and Tesla is expected to intensify, according to these analysts.
“It will become a tit-for-tat race when BYD builds vehicles similar to Tesla’s Model 3 and Model Y,” Chen Jinzhu, director manager of the consultancy Shanghai Mingliang Auto Service, informed the news agency. “It will be a stern challenge for Tesla because BYD now enjoys a cost advantage over its US rival.”
Backed by Berkshire Hathaway, BYD surpassed Tesla as the world's largest electric vehicle (EV) maker last year. However, the majority of its electric and plug-in hybrid cars are said to be aimed at low- and middle-income earners in mainland China, with an affordable price range of 100,000 yuan (USD13,950) to 150,000 yuan (USD20,925). In contrast, Tesla's Model Y, produced at its Gigafactory in Shanghai, begins at a higher price point of 266,400 yuan (USD37,160), as highlighted in the report.
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