BYD Seal unveiled in North America to compete with Tesla Model 3

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BYD launched its electric sedan, the 2024 BYD Seal, in Mexico, making it their second Ocean series model in the country after launching BYD Dolphin in September.

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Seal is built on e-platform 3.0 and features CTB (cell-to-body) technology, where the battery is integrated into the chassis. BYD brought two versions to Mexico: entry-level single motor RWD and dual motor AWD with 523 horsepower and 3.8 seconds 0-100 km/h acceleration.


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  • 150 kW rear motor, 310 Nm peak torque
  • 7.5 seconds 0-100km/h
  • 61.44 kWh LFP Blade battery
  • 460 km range WLTP
  • 778,800 pesos (320,000 yuan or 44,800 USD)


  • 390 kW (160 kW + 230 kW), 670 Nm peak torque
  • 3.8 seconds 0-100km/h
  • 82.56 kWh LFP Blade battery
  • 520 km range WLTP
  • 888,800 pesos (about 365,000 RMB or 52,000 USD)

For comparison, the Tesla Model 3 AWD starts at 985,900 pesos, and the Performance version costs 1,154,900 pesos. In China, Seal AWD starts at about 39,000 USD.

Mexico is becoming an important market for Chinese EV makers. After Tesla announced the Giga Mexico plant, it was reported Tesla asked its Chinese suppliers to follow them into the country and help them build the local supply chain. And they happily agreed. In September, Reuters reported that Chinese firms are about to vest a billion USD in Nuevo Leon, where Tesla plans its new Giga factory. Analysts also speculate that Mexico might be a gateway for Chinese EVs and their suppliers into the U.S. market.

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Later in September, BYD itself announced they are considering building a manufacturing plant in Mexico. “We do have a plan, but there is still a lot of work to be done, said BYD’s America CEO Stella Li.

BYD entered the Mexican passenger vehicle market in March and launched five EVs since then: BYD Han sedan, Tang SUV, Yuan Plus (to 3) mid-size SUV, Dolphin Hatchback, and now Seal.

BYD is probably the only Chinese EV maker who already sells and produces their vehicles in the U.S. They have an electric bus factory in California in Lancaster, supplying mainly school buses. Their North American headquarters is located in Downtown Los Angeles.

Editor’s comment

BYD has a 3 million sales target for 2023, and between January and November, the company sold 2,683,374 vehicles, which means the Shenzhen-based automaker needs to deliver about 320,000 units in December to fulfill its goal. However, the 3 million target was the minimum: A company said it is an absolute must, and the optimistic forecast is 3.6 million.

That became impossible to fulfill as the price war and competition in China became brutal. No wonder BYD is not in a rush to start a price war in Europe, as it is good to have a relatively low competitive market where they can enjoy thick margins while they test the waters and learn to localize.

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