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'Just embrace the competition'. BYD founder urged the US and EU to "not be afraid" of Chinese electric cars

'Just embrace the competition'. BYD founder urged the US and EU to "not be afraid" of Chinese electric cars
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BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu sharply criticized attempts by Europe and the US to restrict the import of Chinese-made cars.

“There are many examples in other countries when politicians are worried about electric cars from China,” Wang said at an industry summit in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing (via Bloomberg).

The 58-year-old billionaire, who founded China's largest car company, says that the reaction of Western countries demonstrates the strength of the Chinese automotive industry.

“If you are not strong enough, they will not fear you.”

It is expected that in the coming weeks, the EU will announce new tariffs on Chinese electric cars after an investigation, which could potentially harm the growth of vehicle imports into Europe. China hinted that it will respond with its own 25% tariff.

According to Transport & Environment, nearly one-fifth (19.5%) of electric cars sold in Europe last year were produced in China, and according to a new analysis, this figure will reach a quarter (25%) in 2024. The group also predicts that Chinese brands may reach 11% of the European electric car market in 2024 and 20% in 2027.

BYD has become a dominant player in the electric vehicle industry, ceasing the production of ICE cars in early 2022. By last year, the automotive giant from Shenzhen manufactured and sold 3 million electric and hybrid vehicles, entering the top 10 global car manufacturers by sales volume.

In his speech on Friday, Wang also called on the industry to embrace greater competition if it wants to cope with the transition to electric vehicles.

In recent months, BYD has led a new price war in China, sharply reducing the cost of its electric and hybrid vehicles. The company has targeted traditional automakers such as Toyota and Volkswagen AG with the slogan “electricity cheaper than oil.” Wang added that electric and hybrid vehicles are on the path to surpassing conventional engines.

“This is the main and unstoppable trend,” he said.

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