BYD Seagull: A small-sized Chinese EV jeopardises US auto industry

AAM says government-subsidised Chinese EVs could end up being an extinction-level event for US auto sector
An undated image of BYD Seagull. — BYD
An undated image of BYD Seagull. — BYD

A small-sized electric vehicle (EV) called Seagull has led to the industry fearing its collapse. 

Seagull, a Chinese EV designed and launched by the country's world-dominant EV manufacturer BYD, is reportedly being sold in China at $12,000, taking a toll on the reputation of the US auto sector where a similarly powerful vehicle costs three times as much.

Tax and duties imposed on the import of this vehicle might keep the danger away from the YS, but if imported inside the US territory, it would be sold for  almost 12 grands.

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The pace at which these cheaper and made-in-China EVs are surfacing at the scene has also caused a mayhem in the global auto industry over the past year or two.

BYD, standing for "Build Your Dreams", appears to be eyeing the normalisation of affordable EVs, which is not less than a validation of its leading position in the landscape of EVs across the globe.  

“Any car company that’s not paying attention to them as a competitor is going to be lost when they hit their market. BYD’s entry into the US market isn’t an if. It’s a when,” said Sam Fiorani, a vice president at AutoForecast Solutions near Philadelphia.

Lawmakers and politicians in the US already view BYD as a potential threat, as Biden administration on Tuesday is purportedly going to announce 100% tax on EVs imported from China, considering them as a threat to national security and employment in the country.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing stated that government-subsidised Chinese EVs “could end up being an extinction-level event for the US auto sector.”

Similarly, Elon Musk earlier this year said Chinese EVs are so good that if trade regulations are not to bar them, “they will pretty much demolish most other car companies in the world.”