Does BYD Sell Cars in the United States?

Electric vehicles are the future of personal transportation, and there are a handful of companies leading the way in terms of producing EVs. Most Americans are probably aware of Tesla, but there are a lot of other successful EV companies in the world, especially in China. In fact, BYD, a Chinese automaker, is one of the most popular electric car manufactuers in the world, and here’s a look at if the company sells its EVs in America.

An EV charging while avoiding idle fees.
EV charging | Getty Images

BYD has been very successful in China and elsewhere

BYD is a Chinese corporation that actually makes a lot of things, including face masks, public transit systems, and electronics. The automotive portion of BYD is called BYD Auto, and the automaker is wildly popular in its native country as well as abroad.

Unlike Tesla, BYD doesn’t just produce EVs, and the company also builds plug-in hybrids, buses, and up until recently, gas-powered cars. 

Like many other automakers though, BYD is going electric, and it’s doing it at a very fast pace. In fact, in 2022, BYD outsold Tesla in terms of EVs. BYD is able to sell that many EVs primarily thanks to the size of the Chinese auto market, and because the Chinese government is encouraging drivers to go electric.

In addition to that, BYD’s EVs are also capable enough to meet the demands of drivers, and that’s another reason for the company’s success.

Does BYD sell cars in America?

BYD does sell its EVs to other markets, and the automaker is steadily expanding its reach. According to BYD, the Chinese automaker sells to markets such as Australia, Brazil, and Mexico.

It’s also expanding further into Europe in 2023, and the company may build a factory in Europe to increase its output. Future expansions are also likely, as BYD likely wants to continue competing with major automakers like Volkswagen and Tesla.

Despite how popular BYD is, the Chinese automaker’s passenger EVs are not available in the U.S. There are a lot of reasons for that, and one of the big ones simply has to do with American import laws. These laws make it tough to import cars from abroad into the U.S., and the only way to avoid those import laws is to build those cars in the U.S. 

BYD currently does not build cars in the U.S., so that’s the likely reason why the company doesn’t sell its cars in America. That said, BYD is successfully competing against Tesla in the Chinese market, so the Chinese automaker may want to compete with Tesla in the American market as well.

Although BYD hasn’t announced any plans to build a factory in the U.S. yet, it may not need to. 

BYD does have a branch in the U.S. though

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This is mostly because BYD actually already has a manufacturing facility in America. Like BYD wrote, it operates a plant in Southern California that employs 750 workers. BYD’s California factory also produces EVs, it’s just that the EVs its making aren’t the EVs that most people are driving. The EVs being built at that factory are electric buses rather than passenger EVs.

BYD also has other locations in America, as its North American headquarters is located in downtown LA. The Chinese company is also actively investing in its manufacturing footprint in the U.S., and it’s already invested $250 million toward that.

Plus, BYD is competing for various government contracts, and it’s winning many of them. Overall, the stage is set and BYD may eventually expand into the American passenger EV market in the near future.