Chinese car giant BYD – an acronym for Build Your Dreams – is planning a rapid sales growth never seen before in Australian automotive history. 

BYD, the world’s ninth biggest car maker by volume and China’s largest – has already doubled sales so far this year from a standing start last year.  

If all goes to plan it will sell close to 25,000 cars this year and 50,000 cars next year. 

If BYD maintains its current sales trajectory – and delivers on its plan to fill showrooms with a range of more than a dozen new electric and plug-in hybrid cars, SUVs and utes over the next two years – it could be a Top Three seller within five years. 

Some industry analysts have even predicted BYD could knock Mazda off its long-standing second place on the podium – if the company delivers on its pledge and customers embrace the little known brand. 

The newly-appointed CEO of BYD Australia is David Smitherman, a veteran of the industry who has spent most of his automotive career working for Ateco, Australia’s largest and longest serving independent vehicle importer. 

BYD Australia has also been on a hiring spree, securing several high ranking executives from rival car brands. 

BYD currently has 25 dealers nationally, with another 15 or so showrooms under construction. 

It plans to almost triple the number of showrooms from 25 to 70 by the end of this year.  

Such rapid growth on this scale has never been done before. 

“It took Tesla 10 years to achieve 100,000 sales in Australia and it took Toyota 18 years to sell 100,000 hybrids,” Mr Smitherman told EFTM. 

“We want to reach that milestone by 2026.”

Not even Toyota or Hyundai grew that fast in their formative years. 

So how will BYD get there?

It currently has a small electric hatch (the Dolphin), a mid size electric SUV (the Atto 3) and an electric sedan (the Seal). 

A Toyota RAV4-sized plug in hybrid SUV is just around the corner. 

And a plug-in hybrid ute – to be called the Shark, it was revealed today, in-line with BYD’s aquatic names – is due in local showrooms next year.

The BYD Shark ute arrives ahead of close to a dozen other BYD models of all shapes and sizes in the two years that follow. 

EFTM has driven the next BYD model to arrive locally, a plug-in hybrid SUV, however drive impressions are under embargo until 16 May 2024 so check back with us then.