BYD Sets Sail in Japan: Chinese Automaker Launches Seal Electric Sedan

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) giant BYD Co. has set its sights on the Japanese market with the launch of its third electric car, the Seal sedan. This strategic move marks BYD’s foray into the heart of a market traditionally dominated by domestic brands.

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The Seal boasts an impressive range, with the base rear-wheel-drive version offering a claimed 640 kilometers (398 miles) on a single charge. This surpasses the driving range of BYD’s existing offerings in Japan, the Atto 3 SUV and the Dolphin compact car. The Seal also comes in an all-wheel-drive variant, though with a slightly shorter range of 575 kilometers.

Priced competitively at 5.28 million yen ($33,100) for the base model, BYD positions the Seal as an “e-sport sedan,” targeting a new segment of Japanese car buyers. Atsuki Tofukuji, president of BYD Auto Japan, expressed optimism about the Seal’s potential to boost sales significantly in the latter half of 2024.

Furthermore, BYD emphasizes that the Seal has been meticulously localized for the Japanese market. Tomoaki Endo, director of marketing at BYD Auto Japan, highlighted extensive market research conducted to ensure a smooth transition for Japanese consumers accustomed to conventional hybrid or gasoline-powered vehicles.

This launch signifies BYD’s aggressive push into the global electric vehicle market. With Japan’s established car culture and growing interest in EVs, the Seal has the potential to become a game-changer for BYD’s presence in the region.

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