BYD takes different route from Tesla by partnering for regional expansion, looking at plug-in hybrids


IN ITS South-east Asia push, China electric vehicle (EV) giant BYD is taking the opposite approach from its biggest rival Tesla, signing many franchise dealers in contrast to Tesla’s direct-sales model.

Liu Xueliang, general manager for Asia-Pacific sales for BYD Auto, said in an interview with The Business Times: “We choose dealers because with electric cars, there are still many consumers who are sceptical about the product itself. “Through dealers, we still want to be able to reassure customers face to face,” he said in Mandarin.

As it scales up in the region, BYD may also offer not just EVs, but plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) as well, although these vehicles are pricier than conventional petrol-electric...