BYD raises investment in Brazil by 80%, aiming to begin operation in 2024

Staff reporter, Taipei; Peng Chen, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

Chinese EV maker BYD plans to increase investment in its Brazilian plant by over 80% to accelerate construction. The factory is located in the Bahia state, northeast of Brazil, and is scheduled to start operation this year. The facility will manufacture hybrid and battery EVs with an annual production capacity of 150,000 units.

According to Bloomberg and CNBC, BYD said its investment in Brazil will increase from BRL3 billion (US$602 million) to BRL5.5 billion. The plant will be the automaker's first production base outside Asia.

Stella Li, CEO of BYD Americas, told the media that automotive electrification has begun in Latin America. BYD has achieved significant sales in Brazil. The company's factories in Brazil and Mexico will both supply Latin America, she added.

BYD's Mexican plant will initially target 150,000 EVs annually and focus on making sedans. The carmaker is still exploring different sites in the country and will finalize the expansion by the end of the year.

According to consulting and investment company Automobility, the Mexican plant will become BYD's beachhead in the Americas if the automaker can proceed with the project. Since Mexico has signed the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), BYD might be able to export its vehicles to North America from the country.

The China-based EV maker has been diversifying its production bases in response to the potential EV export restrictions imposed by the US and the European Union. BYD has set up factories in Thailand, Brazil, Indonesia, Hungary and Uzbekistan.

Counterpoint Research data showed that BYD sold 70,000 EVs in Southeast Asia last year. The company occupied 35% of the market share, creating a notable lead ahead of VinFast and Tesla.

China remains BYD's largest market. In 2023, the carmaker produced more than 3 million EVs and only exported 240,000 units. The rise of BYD and other Chinese EV makers has pressured traditional automakers based in Europe and the US.

On the other hand, BYD entered the passenger car segment in Greece on March 20. The company said it has brought the ATTO 3 and Seal to the market. Since September 2022, BYD has expanded to 20 European countries.