has officially launched the Seagull with a starting price of just RMB 73,800, after starting pre-sales of the Yangwang U8, which costs over RMB 1 million, last week.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

The price range covered by BYD's product array is seeing an unprecedented expansion, with the official launch of a new model priced as low as RMB 73,800 ($10,660), after the Yangwang U8 started pre-sales for more than RMB 1 million.

The Chinese new energy vehicle (NEV) giant officially launched the micro battery electric vehicle (BEV) model BYD Seagull, the latest addition to its Ocean series, at a launch event today.

The car is available in three versions with starting prices of RMB 73,800, RMB 78,800 and RMB 89,800 respectively.

BYD unveiled the Seagull and started its pre-sales on the first day of the Shanghai auto show on April 18, with the three versions priced at RMB 78,800, RMB 83,800 and RMB 95,800 respectively.

The company's final pricing announced today means that the starting prices for all three versions are RMB 5,000, RMB 5,000 and RMB 6,000 lower than the pre-sale prices.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

The Seagull is an A0-class EV based on BYD's e-Platform 3.0 with a length, width and height of 3,780 mm, 1,715 mm and 1,540 mm, respectively, and a wheelbase of 2,500 mm.

The model is powered by a permanent magnet synchronous motor with a maximum power of 55 kW and peak torque of 135 Nm, accelerating from 0 to 50 km/h in 4.9 seconds.

The vehicle is available in two range versions with blade battery capacities of 30.08 kWh and 38.88 kWh, which provide a CLTC range of 305 km and 405 km, respectively.

The BYD Seagull supports fast charging, taking 30 minutes to charge from 30 percent to 80 percent.

For BYD, the Seagull will likely be a model of strategic importance, especially when compared to the high-end Yangwang models.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

Prior to 2020, BYD was targeting mainly the RMB 100,000 to RMB 200,000 NEV market, as there were huge barriers for local Chinese car companies to enter the mid- to high-end market at the time.

With the launch of the BYD Han in the second half of 2020, BYD began to gradually expand its presence in the RMB 200,000 to 300,000 range.

In the fourth quarter of last year, the BYD Han, which primarily targets the RMB 200,000 to 300,000 yuan range, sold more than 30,000 units each month.

As BYD gradually gained a foothold in the mid- to high-end market, the company began to move into the higher price range, announcing the Yangwang brand and the brand's first two models, the U8 off-road SUV and U9 supercar, on January 5.

On April 18, Yangwang started the pre-sales of the U8 at the Shanghai auto show, with a pre-sale price of RMB 1,098,000.

In addition to the Yangwang brand, BYD also has the Denza and the yet-to-be-launched F brand, targeting a market with prices above RMB 300,000.

The importance of the Seagull is that it allows BYD's products to cover a lower price range and thus a broader market than these premium models.

(BYD Seagull interior. Image credit: BYD)

In 2022, the price range of RMB 100,000 to RMB 150,000 accounted for 6.68 million retail sales in China, contributing 33 percent of all passenger car sales, according to data released last month by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA).

Models in the price range of RMB 50,000 to RMB 100,000 sold 3.84 million units at retail in China last year, ranking second with a 19 percent share, according to the CPCA.

The Seagull, currently BYD's lowest-priced model, is targeting a market that the NEV maker has not previously entered but has extensive space.

(Image credit: BYD)

The BYD brand's product array includes the Dynasty and Ocean series, with the former's lowest-priced model being the Qin, which starts at RMB 99,800, and the latter's Dolphin, which starts at RMB 116,800, before the Seagull was launched.

BYD sold 207,080 NEVs in March, including 40,850 units of the Qin family and 30,077 units of the Dolphin, data monitored by CnEVPost showed.

The Seagull's lower prices are expected to meet the demand of younger demographics as well as some families for a second vehicle, helping BYD reach its aggressive sales target this year.

BYD sold 1,868,543 vehicles in 2022, including 1,863,494 NEVs. The company discontinued production and sales of vehicles powered entirely by internal combustion engines in March 2022.

BYD aims to sell at least 3 million vehicles this year and will strive to reach 3.6 million, the company's chairman and president Wang Chuanfu said at an investor conference late last month.

BYD aims to become the No. 1 automaker in China by the end of this year, Wang said at the time.

The Seagull is expected to be another hot seller in the Chinese EV market, judging by its pre-sale performance.

The model received more than 10,000 orders 24 hours after pre-sales began, BYD said on April 19.

($1 = RMB 6.9212)

BYD aims to sell at least 3 million vehicles this year

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BYD Seagull key specs

Launch Price (RMB)73,80078,80089,800
Pre-sale Price78,80083,80095,800
Dimensions3,780×1,715×1,540 mm
Wheelbase2,500 mm
Max Motor Power55 kW
Max Motor Torque135 Nm
0-50 km/h4.9 seconds
CLTC Range305 km305 km405 km
Battery Capacity30.08 kWh30.08 kWh38.88 kWh
30%-80% Charging30 minutes