A Denza executive expects this year to be the first year that China's mid- to high-end MPV market will see explosive growth.
Denza, BYD's joint venture with Daimler, will launch three models this year: an MPV, a medium-to-large SUV, and a midsize SUV, its executive said Monday.
The premium MPV will be offered in an all-electric EV version as well as two DM plug-in hybrid versions, said Zhao Changjiang, general manager of Denza's sales division.
Zhao did not disclose information about the two new SUV models, though hinted that more information about them will be announced starting next month.
Denza was established in February 2011 as a joint venture between BYD (OTCMKTS: BYDDY, HKG: 1211) and Daimler, with each holding a 50 percent stake, the first Sino-foreign joint venture in China to focus on new energy vehicles (NEVs). In February 2022, the Daimler brand was rebranded as Mercedes-Benz.
In an announcement at the end of January 24, BYD said it and Daimler would increase their capital in Denza by RMB 1 billion each in monetary terms, and that the capital increase would not change the current shareholding ratio between the two.
In a separate announcement on January 24, BYD said it signed an equity transfer agreement with Daimler for Denza, which will increase BYD's stake in the company to 90 percent and reduce Daimler's stake to 10 percent.
The move, which will be subject to regulatory approval, is expected to be completed by mid-2022.
Information on Denza's website shows that it is currently selling the Denza X plug-in hybrid and all-electric versions.
"Our prediction is that the next mainstream family vehicle ownership will include a new energy MPV with large space, as well as an SUV or sedan, so this should be the first year of the mid- to high-end MPV market explosion," Zhao said Monday.
BYD's previously announced information shows that the MPV is positioned as a medium to large luxury MPV with a 2+2+3 seating layout.
The DM version of the model can have a combined torque of more than 600Nm and will have a combined range of up to 1,000km.
The MPV was expected to be announced at the Beijing auto show in late April, but the show has been postponed and Denza has not announced a release date for the model.
Here are the "spy shots" of the MPV that Zhao posted on Weibo in late February.
Here is a preview video released by Denza.