BYD Tries To Conquer Europeans via Their Hearts — The Euros

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I’m in Europe right now, and like many here, I’m enjoying the Euros. For those not following the sport, this is like the World Cup but just for Europe. Considering that many of the best teams in the world are in Europe, considering how much neighborly rivalry there often is between European countries, and considering how big of a sport football* is in Europe, there may be no other event that reaches the hearts of so many Europeans. Even people who don’t normally follow the sport are highly engaged fans during the Euros — like my in-laws, who don’t know anything about what’s happening in the professional football leagues across the continent but then watch Euros matches every evening and cheer on whichever countries they prefer, and most of all their own of course. So, if you really want to try to find a way into the hearts of Europeans, or at least catch their eyes, sponsoring the Euros might be the best approach possible.

With the current controversy over cheap (but very good) Chinese electric vehicles working their way to countries around the world, including the super hot EV market of Europe, it seems EV giant BYD decided one big element of its social influence campaign would be acting as the main sponsor of the Euros. As BYD tries to lobby against higher tariffs, or perhaps tries to reduce the higher tariffs it just got smacked with, sponsoring the Euros seems like a smart way to try to embed itself into European culture more.

Or maybe I’m reading too much into this and BYD is simply trying to find customers for all of the electric cars its sending and intends to send to Europe. After all, it needs to establish itself as a completely new brand on a continent full of dozens of domestic automakers.

BYD Seal
BYD Seal interior
BYD Seal interior dash infotainment
BYD Seal

The key model BYD seems to be advertising — at least, from the commercials I see in Poland — is the BYD Seal. It is an elegant, smart, quite affordable, highly competitive electric vehicle. It’s got to be one of the most compelling EVs in Europe, even with vast breadth of models available here.

The Seal isn’t yet a hit in Europe. Can this BYD sponsorship of the Euros help it climb up the sales ladder? Who knows? I recall with Yingli Solar sponsored the World Cup in South Africa. I thought it was a big, bullish move. Unfortunately, despite rising to #1 in the world in solar module production, Yingli Solar ended up going bankrupt. As someone who owned the stock, that stung. Being a major sponsor of such a gigantic event certainly means you’ve made it, but that doesn’t mean you’ll make it in the end. Now, I’m not at all concerned about BYD going bankrupt, as it’s one of the only companies already making a profit on electric vehicles and seems like a very well run company. Nonetheless, sponsoring the Euros could be a good thing or a bad one — it depends on how consumers respond. Let’s see what kind of sales BYD sees throughout the rest of the year in Europe, and in years to come.

Oh, as a final note, it’s worth highlighting that the Euros are being hosted by Germany this year. It’s pretty wild that a Chinese automaker is sponsoring the big tournament rather than one of the automaking behemoths of Germany — Volkswagen, Audi, BMW, or Mercedes.

*aka soccer

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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