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BYD Auto to launch five new models in H2 of 2009

SHENZHEN, Guangdong – BYD Auto plans to launch five new car models in the second half of this year, according to company spokesperson Wang Jianjun who revealed the plan on June 18.

Wang said these five new models are S8, G3, L3, S6 and M6. The S8 (formerly the F8) is China’s first convertible hard-top sedan, which may go on sale as early as in July. The M6, which looks like the Toyota Previa, made its debut at this year’s Auto Shanghai 2009. As BYD’s first MPV model, the M6 is reported to hit the market in September at a price of below ¥200,000 ($29,300).

According to local news reports, the G3 and L3 models (formerly the F4 and F5) are two compact sedans. Based on the F3, the G3 is a higher-level car. Later this year, it will enter BYD’s new A3 sales network, which is now under construction. The L3 is positioned higher than the G3. The S6 is the first SUV model of the carmaker.

BYD’s two other new energy vehicles, the F6DM and e6, would hit the market also in the second half as scheduled, but the plan has been postponed due to unfinished road tests, BYD PR people confirmed the delay with CBU/CAR.

BYD’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the F3DM, which was launched to the market by the end of last year, is expected to start selling to individual consumers in September.

In the first five months of this year, BYD Auto sold a total of 144,741 vehicles, up almost 200 percent year-on-year, with the F3 leading all BYD models in sales to 96,181 units in January to May period. The Shenzhen-based private automaker plans to sell 400,000 vehicles in 2009, to be up 100 percent year-on-year. “We are confident to fulfill the target,” said Wang.

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