Chinese EV manufacturer BYD is hot on Tesla’s tail after securing $1B Turkish plant deal

Chinese electric vehicle (EV) company BYD, a Tesla competitor, has signed off on building a manufacturing plant in Turkey.

The deal was signed by BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu and the Turkish Industry and Technology Minister Mehment Faith Kacir, who outlined the terms of the agreement.

This includes a $1 billion investment from the Chinese EV manufacturer in the EV factory that will supposedly produce 150,000 electric and hybrid vehicles per year.

The Turkish Ministry said the plant may also house a mobility center and research and development center, as reported by Turkish news outlet Anadolu.

Both parties signed the agreement during a ceremony overseen by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Through this deal, BYD seems to be breaking into the European EV market, potentially stepping on the toes of EV giant Tesla.

Although Turkey isn’t a member of the European Union, the country has a customs agreement with the EU that dates back to 1995.

In 2023, Turkey became the EU’s fifth-largest trading partner, representing roughly 4% of the EU’s total trade. One of Turkey's leading exports is motor vehicles.

As one of the leaders in EV vehicles, BYD has sold roughly three million new energy vehicles (NEVs), including 1.6 million battery electric vehicles (BEVs), since 2023.

Reports from media outlets like CNBC suggest that BYD will beat Tesla for the EV top spot this year. BYD’s battery EV sales jumped by almost 21%, while Tesla’s sales dropped by 4.8%.

BYD sold roughly three million units last year, whereas Tesla only sold roughly 1.8 million EVs for the second year running