Spearheaded by Tesla, price cuts in BEV lines have been happening all over the world … and, more recently, seem to have arrived in Latin America.
BYD in Colombia
BYD has been a local player in Colombia since the early 2010s, when it both started selling gasoline vehicles (particularly the city car BYD F0, which still has a small but rather loyal fanbase) and became a partner with Bogota to implement the first electric taxis ever deployed in the country.
More recently, the company allied with local distributor Motorysa and started selling a plug-in exclusive line of personal vehicles (while commercial vehicles have been managed directly by BYD). Sales have been growing slowly yet steadily, and the brand has brought many different vehicles, from the city car to the flagship BYD Han.
In addition to the issues we all know about (including supply-chain disruption, chip scarcity, and high lithium prices), Colombia’s vehicle market in general was subjected to the effect of a very high devaluation in 2021 and 2022, that’s only now starting to (partially) reverse. As a result, BYD (as all automakers) has had to constantly increase prices for the last two years.
The situation in 2023 seems to be improving, though, and some companies are finally announcing price cuts. In the case of BYD, despite no official announcement, the prices presented on its official webpage show significant reductions for its two most-sold models in the country: the 45kWh BYD Dolphin and the BYD Yuan Plus (BYD Atto 3 in some markets).
In the case of the BYD Dolphin, the vehicle arrived in the country in early 2023, at a price of 169,900,000 Colombian pesos, or somewhere around $37,595 at current conversion rates. That price has come down to 161,900,000 Colombian pesos ($35,827), almost a $2,000 decrease.
As for the BYD Yuan Plus (Atto 3), the vehicle was originally presented at a price of 225,000,000 Colombian pesos (almost $49,809) and has come down to 202,900,000 Colombian pesos (or almost $44,917). In other words, a $5,000 price cut.
These reductions place the Dolphin below the also available MG ZS EV (169,990,000/$37,628) and place the Yuan Plus slightly below the Chevy Bolt EUV (207,820,000/$46,000).
Sadly, the most affordable BYD vehicles sold in the market — the BYD E1, BYD E2, and BYD Yuan Pro — seem to have all been phased out. We’re in dire need of an affordable option. That should be covered by the BYD Seagull (poised to arrive in late 2023).
The Overall Market
BYD is no longer the king of the Colombian plug-in market, having ceded the crown to Zhidou and its small Zhidou D2S, an 18 kWh two-seater available for 72,990,000 ($16,156). The Zhidou D2S is the first EV to sell three figures consistently in the country.
As a matter of fact, in April the Chinese giant sold only 26 BEVs, behind MG (31) and Zhidou (137), something that may have influenced the decision to cut prices.
BEV market share currently stands at 2.2%, 1% of which corresponds entirely to the Zhidou D2S.
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