Are we facing a revolution on the market? A cheap electric car from China will come to Europe. We know the price

Luc Williams

Last month, Chinese electric car manufacturer BYD announced plans to introduce the Seagull hatchback to the European market next yearwhich will offer premium features such as cruise control and wireless phone charging. In China, Seagull will be sold for less than PLN 10,000. dollars. On the Old Continent, the price will be higher, but still very competitive, even after the introduction of customs duties and modifications aimed at meeting European standards. BYD executives committed to the sale Seagull in Europe for less than PLN 20,000. euro ($21.5 thousand).

That would mean thousands of four-seater vehicles priced below those of electric vehicles from Stellanis, Renault and other European manufacturers.

The appearance of a cheap vehicle from China on the market increases the pressure on European car manufacturers on their way to market dominance in the post-combustion engine era. Brussels' competitiveness inquiry is unlikely to block this threat.

Share of Chinese manufacturers in the fully electric car market in Europe / Bloomberg

Seagull has good quality at a low price

Seagull has won recognition for its quality of workmanship, design and technology, which BYD has prepared in relation to the price. This is not a one-off situation. The Chinese plan to introduce a higher-class electric vehicle worth PLN 25,000. euro before the city car, European managing director Michael Shu said at an industry event in London this month.

BYD's plans for two factories in the region will help the company mitigate the effects of any European Union tariffs aimed at slowing down this production.

The new model is already conquering markets

Seagull it is already sold in Mexico, where it bears the name Dolphin Mini. Since its introduction to the Mexican market in February at a price of 358,800 pesos ($19,780), the car has been purchased in droves, even though charging infrastructure in Mexico is still in its infancy.

BYD management pledged to sell Seagull for less than €20,000. Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg / Bloomberg / Qilai Shen

Mexico “is not a huge market for us, but we finally found a lot of demand and a lot of interest for this model,” BYD executive vice president Stella Li said last week during the unveiling of the plug-in hybrid pickup truck for the Mexican market.

Judging by the reviews, the dominant car manufacturers in Europe and the USA are right to take the Seagull seriously. Caresoft Global, a Michigan engineering firm that dismantles vehicles to assess quality and manufacturing techniques, looked at the Seagull to evaluate design details that saved money.

Everyone in the industry should be serious about this carbecause it's a nice vehicle,” Caresoft CEO Terry Woychowski said in a video published on InsideEVs.

BYD's expansion is a threat to other manufacturers

BYD belongs to the vanguard of Chinese car manufacturers, which, after taking control of its domestic market, is increasingly focusing on exports, which poses a threat to local producers in other countries.

President Joe Biden decided to almost quadruple US tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, essentially slamming the door on short-term imports. In Europe, customs is a more complicated matter. The EU has launched an investigation into China's electric vehicle industry and is close to deciding to raise barriers, but industry executives and experts are not convinced by the decisions. This is because automakers in the region are more dependent on the Chinese market than their American counterparts, making them vulnerable to retaliation from Beijing.

Current European carmakers are considering unconventional steps to meet the challenge. One such activity is new alliances. Renault is openly looking for partners who want to reduce the costs of its small car platform, while Stellantis will start selling cars produced in a joint venture with the Chinese company Zhejiang Leapmotor Technologies in September.


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.