China's BYD Doesn't Plan to Enter the US Market, At Least Not Yet

BYD U9 supercar
BYD U9 supercar

Alarm bells are ringing across the U.S. auto industry as Chinese carmakers seek factories in Mexico, which could let them circumvent U.S. tariffs. But they can deescalate their DEFCON statuses, as an executive of China's top contender, BYD, has said the company isn't planning to enter the U.S. market. (Or at least, not yet.)

BYD has stormed onto the global stage over the last few years, taking the EV sales volume crown from Tesla at the end of 2023. Most of BYD's sales remain domestic to China though, but it's looking to expand rapidly into export markets like Australia, Brazil, and Europe. It along with other Chinese carmakers are working to establish factories in Mexico, which in addition to skirting U.S. tariffs would let them access cheap labor. But those aren't why BYD is digging a foothold in Mexico, according to its executive vice president Stella Li.

BYD Song Plus
2024 BYD Song Plus. BYD

"We're not planning to come to the U.S.," Li told Yahoo! Finance. "It's an interesting market, but it is very complicated."
"We're not even considering any northern state [in Mexico]. We are targeting the local market. That is the BYD strategy."


The mere threat of the Chinese auto industry on the U.S.'s doorstep has the White House considering additional red tape on top of existing import tariffs, which Congress has discussed increasing further. One proposal would reportedly restrict the origins of electronics used in connected cars due to surveillance concerns.


The auto industry at large is worried by China's rise, which Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares likened to those of Japan's and Korea's decades ago. Tesla CEO Elon Musk openly worries Chinese carmakers could "demolish" the western auto industry, while the Alliance for American Manufacturing described China as an "existential threat." Some automakers are taking matters into their own hands, such as Ford, which is fast-tracking a cheap EV to undercut the competition.

"I think they are [overreacting] a little bit," Li reportedly said. "A little bit too scared about Chinese competition. I never believe that trade protection will help any company."
"The Chinese market is the most competitive market. If you are the winner in the most competitive market why [can't you win] in other [countries]?"

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