SHANGHAI: BYD Co, China’s best-selling car brand, unveiled a new electric sport utility vehicle — the Denza N7 — at a glitzy event in a former factory in Beijing on Monday night, stepping up its push into the premium sector.
The model, which comes in six versions, has a starting price of 301,800 yuan (US$41,680), which Morgan Stanley noted was pretty much in line with market expectations for 300,000 yuan.
Pre-orders have exceeded 20,000 units since the Shanghai Auto Show in April, according to BYD, which showcased five differently-coloured N7 SUVs in a giant exhibition hall at the unveiling in Beijing, attended by several hundred people. The EV will initially be sold in mainland China.
The N7 launch follows the introduction of another BYD SUV early this year, the U8, which falls under the company’s Yangwang brand. The Shenzhen-based automaker then unveiled another higher-end range last month — Fang Cheng Bao, which translates as Formula Leopard.
Morgan Stanley analysts including Tim Hsiao and Cindy Huang said BYD expects N7 monthly sales to rise to 5,000-10,000 by the end of the year, adding that it will be worth monitoring the impact on comparable EVs such as Nio Inc’s ES6 and Li Auto Inc’s L7, as well as luxury brands’ internal combustion engine models, like BMW’s X3 and Mercedes-Benz Group AG’s GLC.
BYD plans to introduce two more SUVs and three sedans covering a price range of 300,000-800,000 yuan in the next three years, the analysts said. They have an “equal-weight” rating and HK$215 price target on BYD.
BYD rose 1.5% in Hong Kong on Tuesday morning following a 4.5% gain Monday. The stock is up 38% this year.
The company sold a record 251,685 new-energy vehicles in June, while its deliveries of fully-electric vehicles almost doubled from a year earlier in the second quarter to over 352,000 units.