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BYD overview


BYD Auto, the makers of BYD cars, is a publicly listed Chinese manufacturing company. BYD Co. Ltd founded the business in 2003. The establishment of BYD Auto came after BYD Co. Ltd acquired Qinchuan Machinery Works a year earlier. Qinchuan had been building cars since the late 1980s.


BYD is the largest electric vehicle manufacturer in the world. Known for its production of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs). In 2022, it produced 1.9 million units, far surpassing the 1.3 million units built by Tesla, its closest rival.

‘BYD’ is the pinyin initialism of the company's Chinese name, Biyadi. ‘Biyadi’ stems from the company’s original trademark, Yadi Electronics. It was previously located on Yadi Road in the Dapeng New District of Shenzen. Shenzen remains the location of its headquartered today. BYD did also backfill these letters as a marketing tactic. They created the slogan ‘Build Your Dreams’ to fit its name.


Since its foundation in 2003, BYD Auto has focused on the production of electric vehicles. However, though until 2022, it also produced internal combustion engines, too. It also produces buses, trucks, electric bicycles and forklifts.


Though it has not been around for as long as some of its competitors, BYD has built a reputation within the marketplace. In China and further afield BYD have been a manufacturer of reliable and high-quality vehicles. They are equipped with impressive technology and are stylish in design.


With no ties to older manufacturers, BYD cars are unique in design – and the same goes for their engines. Its landmark products include the Blade Battery. It can withstand significant overcharging and very high temperatures of up to 300°C. This makes it one of the safest batteries on the market.


Another of BYD’s industry-leading innovations is its e-Platform 3.0. This is an EV body design that allows for a car range of up to 622 miles (1,000km).


BYD announced its arrival on the European car market in 2020. It first launched in Norway, it brought its products to the UK car market in 2023.


Popular BYD models

The Atto 3 is BYD’s most popular – and most sold – car in its range. The family SUV is one of BYD’s youngest models, having only been in production since 2022. With a unique design and an all-electric power train, the Atto 3 utilises BYD’s cutting edge EV technology. It offers a range of up to 260 miles. It produces a good amount of power, too. A single electric motor produces 201bhp, delivering a 0-62mph time of 7.3 seconds.


It reached the European market in October 2022. It launched in the UK in March 2023 in three trim levels: Active, Comfort and Design. Its ultra-modern dashboard is complete with a sleek and rotatable infotainment system. It is set up for smartphone connectivity. The cabin is also airy and spacious. The large boot makes it a practical family car that combines style with efficiency.


The BYD Dolphin is another of the manufacturer’s popular models. A year older than the Atto 3, it began production in 2021 and arrived on the UK market in September 2023. While it shares the e-Platform 3.0 technology of the Atto 3, the Dolphin offers a very different experience. While the Atto 3 is a spacious family SUV, the Dolphin is a stylish compact car that’s perfect for urban driving. It’s more affordable too, but it remains plush with helpful and drive-enhancing technology. It also has an impressive range of up to 211 miles, and 201bhp delivers 0-62mph in seven seconds.


Manufacturer awards


Despite only having been on the UK market for a short time, BYD has racked up a number of awards. This has cemented its reputation as an exciting option for EV buyers.


The Chinese manufacturer’s most sold car, the Atto 3, won News UK's Electric Car of the Year award in 2023. The Dolphin won both the Best Small Electric Car and Car of the Year prizes in the 2024 Carbuyer New Car Awards.


BYD frequently asked questions

What is BYD?

Alfa Romeo is owned by Stellantis, a large multinational automotive manufacturer formed in 2021 following the merger between Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and the PSA Group. Stellantis BYD Co Ltd. is a Chinese conglomerate manufacturing company. BYD Auto is its automotive arm and was founded in 2003 after BYD Co. Ltd acquired another automotive company, Qinchuan Machinery Works. BYD is known for its innovation, and as of 2022, BYD Auto exclusively produces electric vehicles that are either entirely battery powered or hybrid models.

Who makes BYD cars?

BYD cars are made by the Chinese manufacturer BYD – it is not linked with any other automotive companies. BYD has more than 30 industrial parks globally.

Who are BYD cars?

BYD Auto is a Chinese vehicle manufacturer owned by the Chinese company BYD Co Ltd. While BYD Co Ltd is headquartered in Shenzhen, China, BYD Auto’s primary headquarters are located in Xi'an, Shaanxi. It also has a North American headquarters in Los Angeles, and its primary European site is found in the Netherlands.

Where are BYD cars made?

BYD cars are currently manufactured exclusively in China. Its industrial facilities are made up of two large manufacturing plants in Xi’an, as well as further plants in Shenzhen, Changsha and Shaoguan. There are also two research and development centres, in Shenzhen and Shanghai.

How much does a BYD car cost?

BYD cars are considered reasonably affordable considering their EV capabilities, though prices across the range will vary depending on model and trim. However, even lower-entry trim levels are fitted with generous levels of entertainment and driver assist technology.

Where to buy BYD cars?

Used BYD Atto 3s and BYD Dolphins are available to buy through Arnold Clark. Browse the listings on our website and find a range of BYD models to suit you and your budget.

Who owns BYD?

BYD Auto is owned by BYD Co. Ltd, a Chinese conglomerate. Its chairman is Wang Chuanfu, who is the largest stakeholder in BYD.

What does BYD stand for?

While BYD is now known to stand for ‘Build Your Dreams’, this slogan was added later in the company’s journey. Originally, BYD was simply the pinyin initials for the company’s Chinese name, Biyadi. This name originated from the company’s former trademark, Yadi Electronics.

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Representative example
Monthly Payment £474.06
Deposit £249
Term (Months) 48
Cash Price £28698
Credit Amount £28449.0
Completion Fee £1
Total Amount Payable £35,985
Fixed Interest Rate 4.6%
Representative APR 8.9%
Arnold Clark Automobiles Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (308092) for general insurance and consumer credit purposes. We act as a credit broker sourcing credit to assist with your purchase from a carefully selected panel of lenders. Lenders will pay us a fee for these introductions (click here for details including our panel of lenders and disclosure statement). Offers subject to status, terms and conditions.
* MPG figures are obtained in laboratory testing and intended for comparisons between vehicles. Please be aware they’re not intended to represent real world efficiency.