(MENAFN) Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer BYD has set its sights on challenging Tesla's supremacy in the premium EV segment with the launch of its latest offering, the Sea Lion 07 SUV. Unveiled at the Guangzhou Auto Show, the fully electric SUV is part of BYD's new premium Sea Lion brand and is strategically positioned to compete directly with Tesla's Shanghai-made Model Y.
Priced between 200,000 yuan (USD27,879) and 260,000 yuan (USD36,270), the Sea Lion 07 features BYD's in-house-developed DiSus body control system, designed to minimize the risk of vehicle rollover during high-speed cornering. Analysts anticipate increased competition between BYD and Tesla as the Chinese automaker aims to challenge Tesla's established models.
Chen Jinzhu, CEO of the consultancy Shanghai Mingliang Auto Service, emphasized that BYD's move to produce vehicles comparable to Tesla's Model 3 and Model Y signifies a potential tit-for-tat race. Notably, BYD enjoys a cost advantage over its United States rival, presenting a stern challenge for Tesla in the competitive Chinese market.
BYD, backed by Berkshire Hathaway, emerged as the world's largest EV maker last year, dethroning Tesla. However, its primary focus has been on producing pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars targeting low- and middle-income wage earners in mainland China. In contrast, Tesla's Model Y, assembled at its Gigafactory in Shanghai, starts at a higher price point, commencing at 266,400 yuan (USD37,160).
The unveiling of the Sea Lion 07 marks BYD's strategic expansion into the premium EV market, where Tesla has maintained a dominant position. As the competition intensifies, industry experts will be closely watching the dynamics between BYD and Tesla in this evolving landscape of China's rapidly growing electric vehicle sector.
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