Chinese automaker BYD has announced its plans to introduce its second EV model, the Dolphin, for sale in Japan. The company's entry into this competitive arena presents a potential concern for Japanese automakers grappling with increased competition from international players and a shift towards EVs.
BYD disclosed its intention to accept orders for the Dolphin EV starting from September 20th. The decision to venture into the Japanese market underscores the automaker's aspiration to gain a foothold in a region known for nurturing some of the world's top-selling automobile brands.
The Dolphin, priced at 116,800 yuan ($16,092.14) in China, will be solely marketed as an all-electric vehicle in Japan. This strategic move aligns with BYD's objective to capitalize on the growing demand for emission-free transportation solutions, while omitting other powertrain technologies that have established the automaker's presence within China's automotive landscape.
Notably, BYD's strategic approach involves offering both regular and long-range versions of the Dolphin, ensuring compatibility with Japan's CHAdeMO charging standard. This decision aims to address the concerns of consumers and streamline the charging experience, thus fostering greater adoption of EVs in the country.
While the automaker has not unveiled specific sales targets for the Japanese market, the expansion follows BYD's recent success in Japan, with around 700 units of its ATTO 3 electric sports utility vehicle sold since the establishment of its first dealership in Yokohama earlier this year. The ATTO 3 retails for approximately 4.4 million yen ($30,205.26).
In a strategic effort to establish a more extensive network, BYD plans to roll out over 100 dealerships in Japan by 2025. Collaborative efforts to bolster its presence have also been initiated, with BYD's Japanese subsidiary entering into a car dealership agreement with the prominent Japanese trading house, Sojitz.
As the global automotive industry experiences a transformation fueled by the shift towards sustainable transportation, BYD's entry into the Japanese EV market reflects the company's commitment to expanding its influence beyond its domestic borders. The coming months will provide insight into how the Dolphin model fares in a competitive landscape, offering valuable implications for both the company and the evolving EV market in Japan.