"If you're not strong enough, they won't be afraid of you". So said Wang Chuanfu, founder of BYD, during a speech at an industry summit in the Chinese city of Chongqing.

He was referring to Chinese industry, which, with its competitive products, could scare off Europe and the United States. "There are many examples of politicians in other countries who are worried about electric vehicles in China", added Wang Chuanfu. He did not make any explicit references, but the tariffs that Europe wants to introduce soon on Chinese car imports or the list of Chinese companies "banned" in the United States immediately spring to mind.

China ready to react to tariffs

The vote to renew the European Parliament took place this past weekend, and the issue of tariffs was on the agenda. According to Dataforce, electric vehicles produced by Chinese brands such as MG and BYD accounted for just under 9% of battery electric vehicles sold in Europe last year, but these figures are set to rise.

According to analysts, Chinese brands are already selling cars at such high margins that European tariffs should not pose too many problems for them. However, China will not stand idly by and, if tariffs are imposed, it has already hinted that it will respond by imposing a 25% tariff increase. Trade tensions will therefore continue to rise.

BYD's appeal

BYD has grown very rapidly. By 2023, it will have produced and sold 3 million electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles, making it one of the world's top ten carmakers in terms of sales.

Wang Chuanfu called on the industry to be more open to competition to manage the transition to electric vehicles, and is convinced that electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids are set to overtake conventional engines: "This is the dominant and irreversible trend," he said. After all, one of BYD's latest slogans in his country is: "Electricity is cheaper than oil".

Gallery: BYD, the stages of its astonishing growth