Chinese BYD Strengthens Presence in Austria

PeopleOther ♦ Published: February 28, 2024; 10:04 ♦ (Vindobona)

Chinese car manufacturers are becoming increasingly present in the European car market and are openly demonstrating their role. The Chinese company BYD proudly presents its cars and other products on the Austrian market.

BYD Group President & Chairman Wang Chuanfu (m.) in conversation with Alfred Stadler (r.), Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Wolfgang Denzel Auto AG. / Picture: © BYD Austria / Philipp Lipiarski

CCI Car Austria GmbH, BYD's official sales partner in Austria, is a relatively new player in the Austrian automotive market. High-ranking executives of the Chinese automotive giant BYD, including Group President & Chairman Wang Chuanfu and BYD Europe Managing Director Michael Shu, visited Vienna to emphasize BYD's commitment to the Austrian market and its customers.

Wang Chuanfu personally handed over the keys to three new BYD vehicles to Austrian customers during a ceremony at the BYD Pioneer Store in Shopping City Süd (SCS). This gesture demonstrates the company's appreciation for its Austrian customers and dealer partners.

BYD, known as the global market leader in the field of electrified vehicles, made an impressive start in Austria last year with 1,024 new registrations. "The visit of Mr. Wang and Mr. Shu was not only an honor for us but also a recognition of this success as well as an appreciation of the Austrian customers and our dealer partners," said Danijel Dzihic, Managing Director of BYD Austria/CCI Car Austria GmbH.

The company emphasizes the importance of customer feedback collected through direct contact in over 250 sales outlets in 19 European countries. "The BYD Pioneer Stores are particularly important multipliers for us as a brand," explained Michael Shu. "They enable customers to experience our vehicles and obtain comprehensive information about electromobility, which are key aspects of a modern customer experience."

BYD's commitment to Europe is also reflected in the establishment of a state-of-the-art production facility in Hungary, which will not only boost the local economy but also support local supply chains, particularly in Austria, which has a strong supplier industry. "We have always said BYD came to Europe to stay in Europe," Shu emphasized.

Plans for BYD in Austria include establishing itself as a volume brand, particularly by offering affordable e-cars that can compete with comparable combustion cars in every segment. BYD's vehicle portfolio will continue to grow, with plans to expand to include light commercial vehicles and passenger car models in the small and compact car segment.

CCI Car Austria GmbH, a subsidiary of the renowned DENZEL Group, plays a key role in the introduction of BYD models in Austria. With a strong network of 30 dealers and service partners and a successful history in the automotive industry, the DENZEL Group is an important player in the Austrian economy.

This event marks an important milestone in BYD's ongoing expansion in Europe and underlines the company's commitment to bringing innovative and sustainable mobility solutions to the Austrian market.

About BYD role

Wang Chuanfu, the founder and chairman of BYD, has been pivotal in the company's rise as a global leader in electric vehicles (EVs) and clean energy solutions. BYD's approach includes a focus on green transportation solutions and a wide array of clean energy products, including electrified transportation, solar panel production, and energy storage systems. Their portfolio showcases a commitment to renewable energy and the use of non-toxic lithium-iron-phosphate battery chemistry, highlighting the company's vision for a future where all transportation is electric and energy is sourced from renewables.

Under Wang's leadership, BYD has developed a reputation for aggressive cost control and vertical integration, which has been crucial to its success. The company's ability to produce everything in-house, except for a few components like tires and windscreens, has allowed for significant manufacturing innovations and has established BYD as a top battery maker, supplying even to competitors like Tesla and Toyota. This strategy has played a significant role in BYD surpassing Tesla in quarterly deliveries of battery-only vehicles, highlighting the company's growing dominance in the EV market.

BYD's commitment to clean energy and sustainable transportation aligns with global environmental goals and has earned recognition, including a rare endorsement from Chinese President Xi Jinping, who praised Chinese-made new energy vehicles for showcasing China's manufacturing prowess. This recognition, along with the company's innovative approach and comprehensive product lineup, positions BYD as a key player in the global transition to greener transportation solutions.

In addition to its activities in China, BYD is expanding its presence in Europe, with Hungary being a significant location due to the establishment of a new factory. This move marks BYD's intention to play a substantial role in the European market and contributes to the broader goal of promoting sustainable transportation solutions globally.

CCI Car Austria GmbH, located in Vienna, is the official distributor of BYD vehicles in Austria. It's part of the Denzel Group, a significant player in the automotive industry, covering roles from manufacturing to wholesaling. CCI Car Austria GmbH engages in the wholesale of automobiles and vehicle rental. The company was founded on September 5, 2022, and is fully owned by Wolfgang Denzel Auto AG.

BYD under criticism

BYD, like many large companies, faces challenges and criticism, particularly about its business practices and environmental impact. Among the criticisms are concerns about working conditions in its factories, the environmental impact of its production, and the sustainability of the materials it uses. These aspects are important considerations in the context of global efforts to create a more environmentally friendly and socially responsible automotive industry.

China's increasing influence in the global automotive industry, particularly through companies such as BYD, is viewed with mixed feelings. While some welcome the innovation and investment, there are also concerns about competitive practices, data privacy, and reliance on Chinese technologies and materials. These discussions reflect wider geopolitical and economic tensions affecting global trade and technological development.