BYD expansion into Vietnam hits trouble

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The sudden suspension of cooperation by New Energy Holdings (NEH) with BYD on May 6 has left question marks over BYD’s expansion plans in Vietnam. NEH is a Vietnamese distribution company and a subsidiary of Tasco Auto, the company was one of the largest partners in a plan that called for 50 BYD dealers to open by the end of 2024.

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BYD Auto Vietnam has confirmed the news. 100% owned by BYD China the local company acts as the distributor in Vietnam. Previously announced plans called for the opening of between 15 and 20 showrooms in key locations throughout the country including Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by the end of June.

How many of these will be affected by the announcement is unclear but according to the Thanh Nien news outlet NEH had previously said it would put at least 9 BYD showrooms into operation over the next 6 months. Furthermore it seems that NEH’s plans were at an advanced stage with the company as recently as the end of April aggressively  recruiting personnel. It’s believed that NEH’s stores included ones in Hanoi, the capital, and Ho Chi Minh, the largest city and business hub.

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BYD Atto 3 electric vehicle displayed outside the BYD brand evening event, part of the IAA Mobility 2023 event in Munich, Germany.

BYD claim that their plans in Vietnam will be unaffected and that they have many partners in Vietnam. However, it would seem this may be putting a brave face on the situation due to NEH accounting for around a fifth of planned dealers. NEH claim that the decision was made due to adjustments in business strategy and that the plan would have spread resources too thinly making it difficult to meet targets.

In signs an eleventh hour deal might be possible NEH have said that its unit is willing to discuss with other investors the transfer or sublease of the unfinished dealers to continue the project for BYD Vietnam.

Tasco Auto, the owners of NEH, have 86 showrooms nationwide and distribute 14 brands including Toyota, Ford, Mitsubishi and Volvo. The company also brought Lynk & Co to Vietnam last year.

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BYD’s initial sales plan for Vietnam follows the product line that they have chosen for almost every new market consisting of the Dolphin, Seal, and Atto 3, trio. These cars will initially be imported from China but in the future they will come from Thailand once the company’s 504 million USD factory starts production there later this year. By the end of the year the Han, Song and Tang will be added to the product line up. BYD will become only the second electric car company in the country to have a diverse product range following on from homegrown champion VinFast. BYD is not the only Chinese producer selling EVs in Vietnam – Wuling sell the Hongguang Mini EV there.

The BYD Vietnam roadmap published just days ago claims there will be 50 dealers by the end of the year. According to a VnExpress source BYD is targeting sales of 5,000 cars over the second half of this year in the country. This is ambitious given that total car sales in Vietnam last year were only 404,294. SSI Securities estimate that EVs made up around 6% of that total. However BMI Research forecast a compound annual growth of rate of 26% between now and 2032 meaning an estimated market of 65,000 vehicles by 2032. Currently the EV market in Vietnam is dominated by VinFast.

The BYD Vietnam roadmap with the dealer locations listed.

Previously in May 2023 it was announced by the Vietnamese government that BYD would be building a plant in Phu Tho province to produce EVs. It’s believed the project has been put on hold by BYD in favor of 1.3 billion USD factory in Indonesia which was announced in January 2024.

Sources: Vietdata, VnExpress, Thanh Nien, Tuoi Tre, Interface News,

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