Will the BYD car brand from China soon overrun the European market? You could almost think so if you believe some of the "experts". However, the number of registrations in Europe is still manageable. But the company is increasingly positioning itself globally (for example with a plant in Hungary) and has now shown a pick-up for the South American market in Mexico. Our colleague Fábio Trindade was there.


BYD also has ambitious plans for the Brazilian market. On the occasion of the market launch of the Shark pick-up in Mexico, Motor1.com Brasil spoke to Alexandre Baldy, Special Advisor of BYD Brasil, whose goal is to be one of the three best-selling brands in the country by 2028.

To this end, the CEO warns the competition that he will be launching a range of vehicles this year, including SUVs, saloons and even the Shark. The unprecedented pick-up is due to be launched in Brazil in the second half of 2024, between August and September.

Gallery: BYD Shark

In Mexico, at the global presentation of the Shark plug-in hybrid, the prices of just under €49,300 (approx. £42,400) for the entry-level version and around €53,200 (£45,700) for the top-of-the-range version came as a surprise. Considering that the prices of the models sold in Mexico and Brazil are close to each other, there is a good chance that this pick-up will really shake up the segment.

The CEO also confirmed that the BYD factory in Brazil will start production on an SKD basis in December (the car arrives partially assembled), with the aim of reaching full production by June 2025. The model most likely to go into production is the Song Plus, as the market is very receptive to these two models. The Shark pick-up could also be produced in Brazil. However, a decision has not yet been made. According to BYD, it all depends on how the pick-up is received on the Brazilian market.

BYD-Hai

On the subject of SUVs: According to Baldy, the switch to flex-fuel technology is under development, but he has not made a prediction as to when it will actually come onto the market.

Although it is a competitor for Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger and Chevrolet S10, the BYD Shark is slightly larger at 5,457 mm long, 1,971 mm wide, 1,925 mm high and with a wheelbase of 3,260 mm. This means that it is 132 mm longer, 71 mm wider, 110 mm higher and has 175 mm more wheelbase than the Hilux. The load area has a capacity of 835 kg or 1,450 litres.

It is built on a body-on-frame platform and promises similar performance to its competitors. The same architecture is also used by the Fang Cheng Bao range of SUVs. BYD has not yet revealed all the mechanical details, but we do know that it has a plug-in hybrid system that combines a 1.5-litre turbo engine with two electric motors, one on each axle, to achieve a power output of more than 430 PS.

BYD-Hai

The Mexican website claims that the pick-up will accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds and will have a total range of 522 miles according to the NEDC test cycle. It can travel 60 miles on one battery charge alone. According to BYD, the pick-up uses 80 percent of its electric motor to achieve this figure and has a fuel consumption of 7.5 litres per 100 km (37.7 mpg-UK).

The pick-up is well equipped and features a 10.25-inch digital instrument panel, a swivelling 12.8-inch multimedia centre (as in the Dolphin or Song Plus), a 360-degree camera, a 180-degree view under the vehicle, a wireless smartphone charger, a 12-inch head-up display, six airbags, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, a lane departure warning system and more.

Would the China Shark also be something for Europe? That remains to be seen. Even the Hilux from the hybrid-loving Toyota brand has a 2.8-litre diesel under the bonnet here. After all, Ford presented the Ranger with plug-in hybrid in autumn 2023. It remains to be seen whether the VW Amarok, which is produced jointly with the Ranger, will also have one.