China-Europe EV sales infographic
Graphic shows China’s EV market share in Europe.


China’s EVs target Europe

By Duncan Mil

May 22, 2024 - Cheap electric vehicles from China are pushing into Europe, undercutting one of the region’s biggest industries. BYD expects to sell its Seagull for less than €20,000.

“I think an attractive car for Chinese consumers will be an attractive car for a European consumer,” Reuters quoted Patrick Koller, CEO of French auto supplier Faurecia, saying when BYD unveiled the Seagull at the recent Shanghai auto show.

Koller said Chinese automakers can build an EV for €10,000 ($10,618) less than European automakers, an overwhelming cost advantage that will put pressure on European manufacturers in their home market.

Koller said Chinese EV makers could produce vehicles for less because they have lower research and development costs, lower levels of capital spending, and lower labour costs than European rivals.

With their “fantastic competitive advantage,” Koller projected that Chinese automakers could potentially capture a substantial market share in Europe. They sold one million electric cars last year, representing almost 9% of the European new car market, which is expected to rise to 11% by 2024.

Analysts say the Seagull and cars from BYD’s rivals will be headed to Europe, Southeast Asia, and other overseas markets, threatening established automakers.

PUBLISHED: 22/05/2024; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Getty Images