China’s BYD Claims Another Chunk of America’s Electric Vehicle Market

China’s BYD has some pretty grand ambitions. | Wikimedia

As Chinese automaker Build Your Dreams grows, America’s domestic manufacturers are imperiled.

Before we get started, let’s be clear — we’re thrilled to see more electric vehicles enter the market. These innovations are an essential part of the automotive industry’s future in the United States and a cleaner environment. But China’s Build Your Dreams (BYD) is not the answer.

China’s model of state-led capitalism has already eroded America’s domestic manufacturing industry—despite what some might claim to be “blue-collar boom.” Workers saw 2.8 million family-supporting factory jobs in the U.S. lost to China from 2001 to 2018, according to a new report released by the Economic Policy Institute.

Now, not only do American manufacturers have to grapple with cheap Chinese imports, but also with companies like BYD, which masquerade as domestic manufacturers by establishing minimal operations in the U.S. while actually making the bulk of its products in China.

Heralding itself as a climate savior, BYD has infiltrated America’s auto industry through gargantuan subsidies from the Chinese state, to which BYD is beholden and intricately tied. Meanwhile, American automakers are venturing into the electric vehicle field without this unfair advantage. Thus, BYD and China’s other state-owned or subsidized companies (we’re looking at you, CRRC) are able to undercut U.S. manufacturers.

Sadly, China’s strategy is working. BYD recently announced the production of its 400th electric bus delivery and its 100th battery electric-truck in the U.S. as well as the construction of a new lithium-powered forklift facility in California. As the company’s role in America’s electric auto market grows, it poses a greater and greater threat to domestic manufacturers.

Though BYD currently employs workers in the Lancaster, Calif., the company’s focus is clearly on developing its Chinese assets.      

It’s more and more critical that lawmakers support domestic manufacturers instead of accepting the lowest bid on public projects, several of which BYD has already won though problems plague their work.