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China’s BYD lands auto shipment in car powerhouse Germany

Chinese car manufacturer BYD commissioned the construction of its own ships to transport its vehicles
Chinese car manufacturer BYD commissioned the construction of its own ships to transport its vehicles - Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File MARIO TAMA
Chinese car manufacturer BYD commissioned the construction of its own ships to transport its vehicles - Copyright GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File MARIO TAMA

Thousands of cars from China’s BYD rolled off a ship in the German port of Bremerhaven on Monday, as the world’s biggest electric carmaker brought its challenge directly to Europe’s auto making powerhouse.

The delivery was made by the BYD Explorer No.1, the first of eight cargo ships specially commissioned by the Chinese group to expand its export operations.

The arrival of the shipment could become a further headache for established European auto giants, who have trailed upstart rivals in the switch from combustion engines to batteries.

BYD overtook US carmaker Tesla as the biggest maker of battery electric vehicles by volume at the end of last year, delivering over 500,000 units in the last quarter of 2023.

After stopping off in the Dutch port of Vlissingen, the BYD Explorer No.1 docked in Bremerhaven on Sunday, a spokeswoman for the German port told AFP.

Some 3,000 vehicles were unloaded on Monday from the vessel, which carries the carmaker’s own livery, the spokeswoman said.

BYD began life in 1995 as a battery manufacturer, and later turned its attention to producing plug-in hybrid and all-electric vehicles.

Vehicles produced by the Shenzhen-based company compete against Tesla on price inside China and in Europe.

As well as shipping large numbers of cars to Europe, BYD has plans to establish its own factory in the region, much like Tesla, which operates a plant near Berlin.

BYD said in January that the planned base in Hungary would begin operations in three years’ time.

AFP
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With 2,400 staff representing 100 different nationalities, AFP covers the world as a leading global news agency. AFP provides fast, comprehensive and verified coverage of the issues affecting our daily lives.

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