Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD (Build Your Dreams) is set to invest $600 million in Brazil’s northeastern state Bahia to build an industrial complex for electric and hybrid cars, buses, and trucks. The move is part of Brazil’s efforts to “reindustrialize” with Chinese support. The country’s relaxed foreign policy and non-existent geopolitical tensions with China make it an attractive destination for Chinese car manufacturers seeking to expand abroad.
BYD’s investment in Brazil aligns with China’s growing influence in South America, with almost half of China’s current investments in the region being in Brazil. The country’s emerging middle class presents a promising market for electric vehicles, with only around 50% of households owning a car compared to 92% in the United States.
Courtesy of BYD
Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD made its debut in the Brazilian market with the launch of BYD DOLPHIN, a pure electric model featuring Ocean Aesthetics design. The launch event, attended by nearly 300 guests, promised an efficient and eco-friendly mobility experience for local consumers. Within just two days of its launch on June 28, BYD DOLPHIN achieved remarkable success, selling a total of 300 units by June 30. The model’s popularity was evident with an impressive rate of two units sold every five minutes on the launch day.
Courtesy of BYD
The Brazilian government offered incentives to attract BYD, including a 95% value-added tax break until 2032 and no car ownership tax on electric vehicles up to a certain value. Although Brazil’s electric vehicle market is still in its early stages, experts believe it will catch up with more developed markets over time, and Chinese car manufacturers are pioneers in establishing themselves in the local market.
Stella Li, Executive Vice President of BYD and CEO of BYD Americas Courtesy of BYD
However, challenges lie ahead, including inadequate infrastructure for supporting electric vehicles and potential geopolitical tensions and economic slowdowns that may impact China’s expansion plans. While BYD received an overwhelming number of job applications for its announced vacancies, experts remain cautious about Brazil’s ability to achieve a complete “reindustrialization.” The success of BYD and other Chinese carmakers in the country will depend on their ability to adapt to the local market and the long-term viability of their investments.