BYD Seal arrives in Mexico, challenging Tesla Model 3 from across the border

BYD Seal arrives in Mexico, challenging Tesla Model 3 from across the border

While the arrival of the BYD Seal in the United States remains uncertain, it has made an impactful debut in neighboring country of Mexico, setting the stage for an unprecedented showdown against the Tesla Model 3 electric sedan from across the border. The BYD Seal is a battery-electric compact executive fastback sedan that is now being considered as a noteworthy contender among EVs, especially to the Tesla Model 3, thanks to its release in the North American market. While prospects in the US market remain in limbo for the time being, a trip across the border to Mexico will unquestionably present an opportunity for consumers to witness the Chinese EV firsthand and explore its pricing structure.

The BYD Seal has made its debut as the Chinese brand’s 5th offering in Mexican market, following the Han sedan, Tang SUV, Yuan Plus crossover, and Dolphin hatchback models. In the Mexican market, the Seal is being offered with a starting price tag of 778,800 pesos (approx. $44,800), for its base rear-wheel-drive (RWD) variant. This variant of the EV comes equipped with a 150 KW (201 hp) rear-mounted electric motor that comes paired with a 61.44-kilowatt-hour lithium iron phosphate (LFP) Blade battery pack. The massive battery pack boasts a WLTP-rated driving range of 285 miles (approx. 460 km) on a single charge.

Another variant, equipped with all-wheel drive (AWD) powertrain, features dual electric motors capable of producing a combined 390 kW (529 hp) and an enhanced 82.56-kWh LFP Blade battery, which offers an extended WLTP-rated driving range of 323 miles (520 km). it sets the buyer back by 888,800 pesos (approx. $52,000).

Comparatively, in the U.S., the Tesla Model 3 holds a lower starting price at $38,990. However, across the border in Mexico, the American EV surpasses the imported Chinese sedan, priced at a base MSRP of 881,900 pesos, equivalent to about $50,500.

Although the Chinese car brand currently doesn’t retail its passenger EVs in the U.S., it is seriously planning for future expansion, encompassing North American markets. Its plans include considerations for a production plant in Mexico, hinting at an imminent presence in the fast-growing region. Notably, BYD has enjoys an existing foothold in the U.S. market through its production of electric buses. To be more specific, the Chinese manufacturer is already present in the U.S. as it is primarily assembling school buses at its Lancaster, California facility. Thus, its entry into the U.S. passenger car market can be expected sooner than later.

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