US EV manufacturers watch BYD's birdie

Hsieh Ming-shan, Taipei; Jay Liang, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: BYD

BYD's new Seagull has caught the attention of US automakers.

Dubbed the "mini Lamborghini," the Seagull has taken the global automotive market by storm with its low price and high performance. It has a starting price of only US$9,700, and BYD successfully reduced costs through simplified design and efficient manufacturing.

Electrek said the Seagull is equipped with the company's blade batteries, offering two versions with capacities of 30.08 kWh and 38.88 kWh, with maximum ranges of 305 kilometers and 405 kilometers, respectively. The Seagull reaches a charge of 80% in just 30 minutes and features a 10.1-inch rotating central control screen for a minimalist design.

It is worth noting that the Seagull was designed by Wolfgang Egger, a former Lamborghini designer. The Seagull is set to place unprecedented pressure on American car manufacturers.

BYD has a significant cost advantage because it manufactures nearly all its components except for windows and tires. The company's next-generation electric vehicle platform is expected to further reduce costs and put more pressure on US automakers.

Although it has not yet been launched in the US, US automakers are watching BYD's bird very closely. Ford and GM are reconsidering their strategies to compete with Chinese brands.

Former senior executive at General Motors (GM) Terry Woychowski said BYD's Seagull electric car is a wake-up call for the entire industry. In an interview with CNBC, he said that US automakers need to accelerate their pace to maintain competitiveness.

Ford plans to introduce more affordable small electric cars, with the first model expected to hit the market in 2026 with a starting price of around $25,000. GM also plans to launch a new generation of Bolt EV in 2025, utilizing the Ultium battery platform and incorporating LFP batteries to reduce costs.

Although BYD has yet to enter the US passenger EV market, the Seagull would undoubtedly make a splash when it lands in the US.