SHANGHAI: Chinese electric vehicle giant BYD will launch its new luxury brand Yangwang in the January-March quarter of next year, looking to expand beyond its base of mass-market vehicles.
At a media event in Shanghai on Thursday, the automaker said the first model released under the new brand will be an off-road SUV, priced at 800,000 to 1.5 million yuan (US$115,000-US$216,000).
BYD announced its withdrawal from the production of gasoline vehicles in the spring and now specialises in EVs and plug-in hybrid vehicles such as its flagship Dynasty series and Ocean series vehicles.
The company’s vehicles have up to now mostly been favoured by middle-income consumers, with prices in the 100,000-to-200,000 yuan range. New car sales are soaring, and cumulative sales of EVs and plug-in hybrids have surpassed 3.1 million units, according to BYD.
By launching a luxury brand, BYD hopes to cultivate a wealthy customer base and improve in the added-value area, which has been an issue for the company.
BYD is also expanding globally, with plans to start selling its Atto 3 electric SUV in Japan from January.