Chinese electric carmaker BYD is eyeing a leadership position in the Indian electric passenger vehicle market as it looks to garner a market share of 40 percent in the segment by 2030, a senior company official said on Tuesday. The company, which launched its second product, an electric sports utility vehicle ‘ATTO 3’ for the Indian market, is banking on its globally acclaimed prowess in new energy vehicle technology to achieve its goals.
Currently, homegrown automaker Tata Motors leads the electric passenger vehicle segment. Rival Mahindra & Mahindra is also bullish on the segment with plans to roll out multiple models over the next few years. BYD India has commenced the bookings of the ATTO 3 with deliveries expected to begin from January next year. It however did not disclose the price of the model.
The automaker, which competes with the likes of Tesla across global markets, already sells a multi-purpose vehicle E6 in the country. With a presence in over 70 countries, the company is now looking to mark its presence in India where the electric vehicle segment has started to gain momentum with many OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) coming up with new products.
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“We want to be the leader in every market we enter. If you look at buses in most of these countries, we are at 60-70 percent market share in the electric bus segment. So we want to repeat that in the electric passenger vehicle segment also," BYD India Senior Vice President (Electric Passenger Vehicles) Sanjay Gopalakrishnan told PTI. The company has a wide range of products in its portfolio that could be introduced in the market, he stated.
“We are expecting that the total electric vehicle market in the country will grow to 55 lakh units by 2030 and maybe the penetration of passenger electric vehicles could be between 25-30 percent which is a huge number. So we are looking at taking 40 percent market share of that by 2030, that is what we are aiming for," Gopalakrishnan said. The domestic electric passenger vehicle sales last fiscal stood at just around 23,000 units. It has already crossed the 25,000-unit mark in the April-September period this fiscal.
“We expect the industry to touch the 50,000-unit mark in the current fiscal itself. We plan to sell around 15,000 units of ATTO 3 and E6 next year," Gopalakrishnan noted. The company will assemble the sports utility vehicle at its Chennai-based plant and would also look at setting up a manufacturing plant depending upon the market demand, he said.
“Our current assembling capacity is around 10,000 units which could be expanded to 15,000 units per annum. Looking at the market demand, we will look at exploring setting up of manufacturing facilities in India," Gopalakrishnan said. When asked about the possible government view, considering the current state of relations between India and China, on the company’s plans to expand its manufacturing footprint in the country, he said the company might explore various options.
“It could be contract manufacturing..we can do that but currently let us see how the next year goes in terms of demand. If we have really great demand then we will see," Gopalakrishnan said. On tackling a somewhat negative perception of being a Chinese brand, he said: “We are talking as a technology company. People who are aware of BYD know about the technology." Commencing its Indian operations in 2007, the company has to date invested around USD 200 million to set up its business in the country.
In the automobile space, the Shenzhen-headquartered firm introduced electric buses in 2018 and has so far sold over 800 buses in 11 cities. Gopalakrishnan said the company has already sold over 500 units of the E6 model and also plans to introduce an electric truck trailer in the country.
“We already have orders for 350 such truck trailers," he said. The new offering — ATTO 3 — comes with a 521 km range on a single charge as per the ARAI tests, the company stated.
BYD India currently has 24 sales outlets across 21 cities and aims to expand to at least 53 such facilities by the end of this year. Besides, the automotive business, the company has a presence across mobile components, battery energy storage, and electric forklifts among others.
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