BYD is entering the Korean market with the Atto 3, Seal, and Dolphin

Vlad, 12 February 2024

BYD's global expansion continues. The next country it wants to be present in is South Korea, which is interesting because that's Hyundai and Kia's home turf. A Korean media report says BYD's entering the market is "setting off alarm bells" for the two homegrown automakers, since the Chinese company is very competitive wherever it's present due to its ability to produce about 75% of the parts it needs for EVs in-house. This means its production costs are about 30% lower than its competitors'.

BYD is meeting with the Korean Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Trade next month in order to obtain a necessary permit to sell EVs in the country, according to the ever-present "people familiar with the matter". Foreign automakers need environmental and safety certifications of their vehicles' range, efficiency, and battery safety before any sales begin. There will also be an eligibility review for state EV subsidies.

BYD Atto 3 BYD Atto 3

This process generally takes two to three months and so if everything goes smoothly for BYD, it can start selling the Atto 3 in South Korea before the end of June. The Atto 3 is BYD's most global model, if we can call it that, and its bestseller. More than 100,000 were sold last year outside of China, and given that BYD's entire global sales tally for 2023 was 242,759 that means the Atto 3 alone represented about 40% of that pie.

The Atto 3 should compete head-on with the Hyundai Kona Electric, the Ioniq 5, the Kia Niro EV, and the Kia EV6, according to "industry officials" in Korea. Next up will be the Seal and the Dolphin, as BYD has already registered trademarks for both of them in Korea.



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