Chinese manufacturer BYD will announce the location of its future European factory by the end of the year. According to its general director for Iberia, Jordi Cuesta, the information that points to the company’s decision that the first European factory will be in Hungary is “unofficial”, while he assures that there is “more than one” plant and that Spain is “an important candidate for investments in manufacturing, either in the first phase or the next ones.”
In this regard, he indicated that during the award the investment assistance programs will be considered “carefully” “to be considered within the equation that is the best option.”
Cuesta told Europa Press that Spain “has always been one of the best” automotive clusters and that with the current change, together with the Perte programs, they are helping other manufacturers to “bet a lot on electrification ” and in Spain as the car cluster.
“Spain plays its cards and very well with Perte,” assured Cuesta. “Selfishly and for my part, I’ll be happy if it falls here, next to the house.”
Cuesta expressed his satisfaction with the process of landing America in Spain, because the first phase of the company’s life in Spain has been completed to “take more steps” for next year.
This first phase, as explained by the manager, consists of the launch of a commercial network, which currently has 11 official dealers that he expects to reach 20 next year, as well as spreading the company’s message and explain who they are.
“We know that we are not known in Spain and we are making a lot of efforts to know that we are the number one manufacturer of plug-in cars,” emphasized Cuesta. In November, BYD reached 6 million plug-in vehicles (100% electric and plug-in hybrids) produced.
Therefore, for the next year he assures that they examine new models and versions of existing models, so he expects an “extreme and fun” 2024. In addition, the objectives of the next year for BYD is to “continue to consolidate” its sales and after-sales commercial structures to ensure that customers are “fully satisfied with us”, as well as to cover more areas such as the northern area of Spain , where they have not They have representation of a dealer.
Although Cuesta refused to make sales estimates, he pointed out that they want to be a “very important” player in the electricity market, because “there are many possible scenarios” in the evolution of the electricity market in Spain, such as the direction required or the speed. . “Now we have an extension of the Moves III program until July, we’ll see what happens after that.”
Therefore, the first thing they want to do in this sense is to “contribute to the acceleration of electric mobility”, so that when we “definitely take off” and Spain is at the level of other European countries such as Germany, France or Portugal, they have a “position relevant”. “I think we have the conditions and the product range to do it and we have a lot to contribute,” he said.
Jordi Cuesta considers that “there is a very good intention” of public organizations to encourage the demand for electricity mobility, but that the efficiency and implementation of assistance, as well as its management or charging networks in terms interoperability and transparency of price information.
“What is important at the end of the road is the experience of loading the customer and in that experience I think there is more to be done,” said Cuesta.
Likewise, the director of Spain and Portugal of BYD points out that the aid for demand and purchase is “more direct”, such as an exemption from indirect taxes such as VAT, to make it “more agile. “
For Cuesta, there is a lot of uncertainty and complexity, from when they will receive the subsidy or have to pay it on their personal income tax return, which he believes is “putting customers back” from making the definitive step in the movement of electricity.
In addition, he considers a “too simplistic judgment” of the voices that say that there is a lack of charging infrastructure, which he considers is not a “bad” number, although he emphasizes the need to work on the organization of all things that include infrastructure.
“We believe that there is a lack of greater organization in this area. In the case of Portugal there is a centralized organization that manages it, beyond the operator,” said Cuesta. »Which is a very efficient organization so that the user has only one point of contact for the charging experience«.
“In our case we have a complex that generates a lot of uncertainty. In short, we believe that a greater attention should be made so that it is open to the user in general and that the number of points that are real which is accessible.
Regarding the investigation opened by the European Commission against China for the “illegal assistance” it provided in the production of electric vehicles, Cuesta assured that “they are cooperating at all levels” in all requests. “Because of that, we don’t have a problem.”
“At the moment we are concerned with other things, like making sure we consolidate our model in Spain,” he said. “We don’t really have a problem with the possible information requirements or what is called the investigation, and with the decisions that can be made, because we have to navigate with them,” he concluded.