BYD opens floodgate for new Chinese-made electric cars after death of Aussie industry

Jaecoo, Aion, and Changan cars over the top of loads of EVs

There are loads of Chinese car brands getting ready to launch in Australia and increase competition in an already hot market. (Source: Jaecoo/Aion/Changan/Getty)

The array of cars you see on any given street in Australia is about to change. Chinese-made electric vehicles (EVs) are expected to flood the market over the next few months and you might start to notice car badges you’ve never seen before.

At least a dozen brands from China have announced plans or are largely tipped to launch in Australia and it’s expected to increase competition in an already hot market. EV expert Toby Hagon told Yahoo Finance there are more than 100 car brands in China and Australia has become an “appealing” avenue for manufacturers to expand into.

“One of the appeals of the Australian market is that it’s basically unregulated,” he said.

The European Union is expected to soon impose tariffs on electric vehicle imports from China to ensure local car manufacturers aren’t affected by the influx of these new overseas brands.

However, Hagon explained that because Australia’s car manufacturing industry is virtually dead, there isn’t a need to protect it from outsiders.

For example, the BYD Seal can be picked up in Australia for around $50,000, however, if you wanted to buy the exact same car in Europe, you’d have to pay closer to $90,000.

BYD has become one of the biggest players in the EV market and has been providing some fierce competition to Tesla in Australia.

However, the options available to consumers are set to expand massively.

We shall soon see cars from Aion, Changan, GAC Motor, Geely Auto, Jaecoo, Leapmotor, Skywell, XPeng and Zeekr cruising on our streets.

Other brands who haven’t officially confirmed plans but are rumoured for an Australian launch include NIO, Lynk & Co, and Jetour.

“We’re expecting the first brands in the next few months,” Hagon said.

“So even probably the third quarter of this year, certainly by the fourth quarter. And some of them are talking about next year.”

But he said those timelines could be delayed by a multitude of factors and “the real proof in the pudding will be when they actually open up dealerships and start selling cars”.

Several EV manufacturers have already slashed their prices in Australia, with one brand knocking a whopping $20,000 off a vehicle’s price tag.

So it begs the question of what will an influx of other brands do to the market.

“Car makers are having to work harder than to try and tempt people to buy their cars,” Hagon explained to Yahoo Finance. “So, certainly prices have come down, particularly on electric cars, and that competition is really ramping up in the market.

“I think you can absolutely expect that competition to continue and maybe prices at the very least remain sharp and in some instances get a bit sharper.”

Hagon said some brands might drip-feed their new arrivals into Australia, while others could dump a large portion of vehicles and hope they’ll get snapped up.

But he predicted the majority of Chinese-made EV manufacturers will target the “lower to middle end of the market rather than the top end”, so we could be about to get some very affordable options.

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