China’s BYD Blames Brexit for Ruling out UK for its First EV Facility in Europe

Because of the impact of Brexit, BYD the world’s leading seller of electric and hybrid vehicles will not contemplate establishing its first European automobile production facility in the United Kingdom. BYD aims to compete with established names like Tesla and become one of the three most popular electric vehicle manufacturers in Europe by the end of the decade.

Backed by US investing tycoon Warren Buffett, BYD which is also China’s top-selling electric vehicle manufacturer has shortlisted facilities in Germany, France, Spain, Poland, and Hungary as it seeks to sell approximately 800,000 vehicles per year in Europe by 2030.

byd adl enviro400ev elektrobus electric bus london
BYD electric buses running in London

Michael Shu, BYD’s European president, while speaking to the Financial Times said the UK had not even made it into BYD’s top 10 list of possible locations to build its first European passenger car plant. Although the company already makes buses in Europe. He said:

“As an investor we want a country to be stable. To open a factory is a decision for decades. Without Brexit, maybe. But after Brexit, we don’t understand what happened. The UK doesn’t have a very good solution. Even on the long list, we didn’t have the UK.”

BYD is not the only automaker to cite Brexit-related concerns in declining to explore business possibilities in the UK. Elon Musk, Tesla’s CEO, stated in 2019 that the decision to exit the EU rendered building a gigafactory in the UK too hazardous. In Germany, the business established its first European plant, as well as a research and development center.

1 BYD Atto 3
BYD Atto 3 in UK

Several automakers are being compelled to evaluate their business requirements as a result of the global economic downturn. In February, Ford planned 4,000 job losses across Europe, including 1,300 in the United Kingdom. Ford has stated that it will invest $50 billion (£41 billion) in electric car production by 2026, but it must also decide what to do with operations based on the internal combustion engine before new petrol and diesel car sales are prohibited. Jaguar has vowed to go all-electric by 2025, while BMW announced last month that by 2030, half of its European sales will be electric.

Related: BYD Atto 3 Debuts in UK

BYD is among an array of Chinese companies – such as Nio, Voyah, Xpeng, and Li Auto – targeting the European electric car market. The company has so far launched three passenger vehicle models in Europe, including Norway and Germany, and the all-electric Atto3 electric SUV in the UK.

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