One of the biggest sticking points for the motoring industry over the success, or perceived success of Tesla in Australia has been the lack of reporting over sales on a monthly basis.
That changed slightly last month when the national EV industry group reported on electric vehicle sales which showed Tesla’s utter dominance over all the established brands EV models. Somewhat marred by the wrong numbers being published first, the bottom line was Tesla is utterly dominant, with all the other brands barely struggling to make an impact.
For perspective, behind Tesla’s 12,000 Model 3 sales, was the MG ZS – of which 1388 were sold in 2021.
Every other car company except Tesla report their monthly sales through the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries VFACTS program. This establishes where the trends are in sales and just who’s doing what in the market.
While Tesla refuse to take part in the program, it’s clear the other upstart in the market plans to be seen alongside the established players.
Speaking to Trevor Long on the EFTM podcast, Luke Todd, boss of EV Direct the distributor of BYD vehicles in Australia confirmed the company would report its monthly sales, unlike its US based rival Tesla.
During the conversation, Mr Todd spoke glowingly of the number of pre-orders the company had received for their first model in Australia, the Atto 3, saying “The number of orders we’ve actually received with people putting down deposits and readying themselves for delivery in July has been outstanding, we’re comfortably now the second highest selling EV brand in Australia.”
That statement suggests they’re in the territory of MG’s ZS figures, and when questioned about that being around 1,500 cars, Mr Todd said “I can’t give out the exact number until we start delivering and show our actual numbers on VFACTS but that’s getting close to the number already“
A simple statement like that confirms something that many will wonder in the months ahead – just how well is BYD going.
It’s now clear we’ll be able to track that as an industry and plot the progress and possible success of the business alongside other new-challeger brands in Australia such as MG.
EV Direct has said previously to EFTM and confirmed again on this week’s show that there is a dedicated Australian production line for BYD cars, capable of around 1,500 cars per month.
Expanding on that during the interview, Mr Todd told me “we will have 8 models by mid 2024 -that means 8 times 15,000 per annum, that’s our production capability”
That’s a staggering 120,000 cars per year, or 10,000 cars per month – A figure that would put them in the top 2 or 3 car brands in Australia, easily.
Of course, we’re a long way from that being a reality, with not a single right-hand-drive BYD Atto 3 yet to land in Australia.
However, Luke Todd also explained their customer facing strategy, saying they were “in discussions to expand our retail interface with Eagers automotive – which is the largest dealership group in the country, so more Australians will have the chance to touch and feel vehicles in the coming months through that relationship”
If that network is able to present the brand and cars to more Australians, then as Mr Todd says “whilst not many people know of the BYD brand now, within months the BYD brand will be prominent right across Australia.“
The Traditional motoring media are sceptical about what EV Direct and BYD are doing, their approach is different, perhaps naive in some ways, but also just new and innovative. The next 12 to 18 months will be critical for the company to prove it can deliver on promises, report its sales through VFACTS and really put their stamp on the Australian motoring industry.
At EFTM, we’re excited to see that.