General Motors vs Chinese Firm BYD: Which Electric Car Company Will Reign In China?

Sep 21, 2016 04:00 AM EDT | Eve C.

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A General Motors logo is shown at the General Motors Technical Center, where Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra held a press conference on June 5, 2014 in Warren, Michigan.
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Chinese company BYD might not ring a bell to most of the people, but it is a formidable car manufacturer in China. BYD was lauded as the automaker that sold the most plug-in electric cars last year as compared to other leading brands in the U.S., Europe, and Japan.

However, there is another car company that wants to challenge them. General Motors plans to surpass BYD in China - which might mean selling more than 60,000 EVs.

Notably, the success of BYD captured GM's attention, according to GM China Deputy Director of Electrification Engineering Martin Murray. He said in one interview that it motivated them to compete.

First, he commended BYD Qin and Tang plug-in hybrids in China. Then he stated General Motor's aim to be the new leading brand when it comes to selling electric cars.

"We are looking at GM technology which has the safety and performance people like, and GM's affordable models, and putting the two together in China," he said, as quoted by China-EV Blog.

"The object is to make these high volumes. We are going protect these (GM) brands; these are going to be super high-quality products."

Murray may not say it outright, but they are confident that General Motors can produce a better line of car models than BYD. So far, however, the Chinese firm has been producing high-quality models with improved features over the years. Hence, the competition may be tough.

According to Green Car Reports, the local company was able to sell 11,129 Qin sedans and 19,134 Tang SUVs within the first 6 months of this year. Thus far, those two models the most popular plug-in cars in China. 

The outlet somewhat noted that the locals tend to trust foreign companies more than their own, and that could be one of General Motor's advantage. GM plans to produce the Chevrolet Malibu Hybrid, Buick LaCrosse Hybrid, and Cadillac CT6 Plug-In Hybrid sedans in the Asian country.

Do you think General Motors will win in the competition versus Chinese BYD? Let us know in the comments below.

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