Chinese automakers BYD, ORA, and WEY have showcased their vehicles at the ongoing 2022 Paris Motor Show which is considered one of the largest automobile exhibitions in the world.
Among these three, two of them (ORA and WEY) are sub-brands of Great Wall Motors (GWM) which is the same company behind Haval branded vehicles in Pakistan. Deliveries of some of these cars will soon start in Europe, as Chinese automakers continue with their rapid expansion across the European markets.
BYD has received a sort of ‘red carpet’ treatment at the Paris Motor Show, as reported by Bloomberg. The vehicles it displayed include the Tang EV which is already on sale in some European markets, as well as Han luxury electric sedan, Atto 3 electric crossover (called Yuan Plus in China) as well as the Seal EV which will be marketed as Atto 4 in some markets. The Atto 3 recently earned 5-star rating in latest Euro NCAP crash tests.
Earlier this year, BYD already surpassed Tesla to become the largest seller of electric vehicles, while it is now the 3rd most valuable automaker behind Tesla and Toyota. The vehicles displayed by BYD gained great attention at the Paris show and the Chinese automaker is already drawing interest from governments in central and southern Europe that are eager to land investment from the company, which is contemplating manufacturing cars locally as relationships between China and western countries that are threatened by its rise turn increasingly fraught.
The red carpet treatment is worrying sign for European automakers and few of them are already irked at the reception BYD has received. Carlos Tavares, the CEO of Stellantis while talking to reporters in Paris said “Chinese manufacturers are welcomed in Europe with a red carpet. It’s not like this that we’re welcomed in China.”
Laurens van den Acker, director of design for Renault group said “It’s disturbing. I root for Europe. I want it to be us taking the leadership. Chinese carmakers have an advantage over us, and the Chinese government has been betting on the EVs for 15 years.”
Other automakers have fared better having made bargains decades ago in China, agreeing to set up compulsory joint ventures with domestic manufacturers to share in what was a jaw-dropping period of meteoric growth. Some of those western companies, including Volkswagen and General Motors, built massive positions in the market that have started to deteriorate the last few years, as local players field attractive electric models.
BYD also handed over keys to the customers during the event. “We know BYD,” Jerry Bentvelsen said, when asked whether he had any second thoughts about becoming one of the first in the Netherlands to take delivery of the company’s cars. “I don’t have reservations.” Plus, the 34-years old Jerry, from Rotterdam along with his wife Jessica also took delivery of a black BYD Tang. The impressed couple ahd immediately booked the Tang EV when they took a test drive in the 7-seat SUV that gets from zero to 100 km/h in just 4.6 seconds.
ORA which comes under the umbrella of GWM displayed two of its models at the 2022 Paris Motor Show. These were the Funky Cat GT (known as Good Cat in China and other Asian markets) as well as the Lighting Cat EV. The Funky Cat was able to score 5-stars in Euro NCAP crash tests when it was evaluated a couple of months ago.
ORA Funky Cat GT and Lightning Cat at 2022 Paris Motor Show
Lighting Cat is an answer to Porsche Panamera, however ORA hasn’t announced its European name yet. Instead, it modestly called it ‘The Next Ora Cat’. The Lightning Cat is yet to go on sale in Chinese domestic market, but sales are expected to commence towards the end of October.
WEY, which is a high-end brand of GWM, displayed two models at the Paris show. One being the Coffee 01 which earned 5-stars in Euro NCAP crash test, while the other is the smaller Coffee 02.
WEY Coffee 01 and Coffee 02 at the 2022 Paris Motor Show
The Coffee 01 will be available for purchase in two trim levels priced between €55,900 and €59,900 Euros. The Coffee 02 will go on sale in European markets from the first quarter of 2023.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com