BYD signs Turkey plant deal

The Chinese firm to invest $1bn in the Europe-adjacent country

BYD signs Turkey plant deal
BYD's new Uzbek plant recently got a presidential visit

China’s BYD has signed a deal with the Turkish industry ministry to invest in the country, according to Turkish state-run Andolu Agency (AA) news services.

It plans to build a 150,000 vehicles/year factory that is targeted to begin production at the end of 2026, as well as a mobility and R&D centre, AA reports. The total investment will be $1bn.

BYD is increasingly looking to boost its international presence, with new plants in Thailand and Uzbekistan officially inaugurated in recent weeks.  Earlier in the year, BYD revealed plans to invest $1.3bn in a passenger EV factory in Indonesia, while new facilities are also planned for Hungary, Brazil and Mexico.

The Hungary plant will — assuming the EU sticks solely to duties on Chinese-made imports and does not look to place any restrictions on the supply chains of EVs made on the continent itself — allow BYD to get around the 27.4pc tariffs the firm faces for imported Chinese-made BEVs into Europe. And Turkey will offer a similar option.

EVs made in Turkey will fall under the EU-Turkey Customs Union free trade in goods agreement. “From a tax point of view, there is no difference if you produce a battery in Turkey or if you produce a battery in Germany,” Stefan Bergold, then general manager for the European arm of Chinese battery maker Farasis — which is developing a new battery cell factory in Gemlik, Turkey — explained to EV inFocus last year.

Slow progress

BYD clearly has material European aims, currently sponsoring the continent’s national men’s football championships (as well as its Latin American equivalent) — with accompanying marketing blitz — and looking to invest in manufacturing in EU member states or those with trade agreements that access the bloc. It has also just signed a partnership with the financial services arm of French bank Societe Generale.

But it is worth remembering too that it has barely scratched the surface in terms of penetrating European markets as yet. In Germany, in the first five months of 2024, it has sold just 776 BEVs, admittedly higher than 161 units it sold in the same period in 2023, but when offering four models instead of one. And fewer than 1,000 sales represents a miniscule volume.

EV inFocus - Google News
Read full articles from EV inFocus and explore endless topics, magazines and more on your phone or tablet with Google News.

In the UK in the same January-May period, it sold only slightly more than 2,000 BEVs, according to consultancy New Automotive. In Sweden, sales were basically flat to Jan-May ’23 at 419 units.

Across the first half of the year, BYD’s Dutch sales have jumped from 585 to 1,193, its Belgian from 251 to 1,078 and its Norwegian from 335 to 1,057. But, again, the 2024 numbers are not large in relative terms.

Great! You’ve successfully signed up.

Welcome back! You've successfully signed in.

You've successfully subscribed to EV inFocus.

Success! Check your email for magic link to sign-in.

Success! Your billing info has been updated.

Your billing was not updated.

Insider Focus LTD (Company #14789403)