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BYD’s Electric Ambition: Shark Pick-up Targets South American Giants and Sets Sights on German Market



BYD Shark: A New Plug-in Hybrid Pickup for South America

The Chinese contender is openly targeting competitors like the Ford Ranger and Toyota Hilux

Could the Chinese automotive brand BYD be on the verge of dominating the German market? That's what some "experts" seem to suggest. However, the current registration numbers in Germany remain modest. Nonetheless, the company is expanding its global footprint, including a factory in Hungary, and has recently unveiled a pickup truck in Mexico designed for the South American market. Our colleague Fábio Trindade was at the scene.

BYD also has bold aspirations for the Brazilian market. During the launch of the Shark pick-up in Mexico, Brasil had a conversation with Alexandre Baldy, Special Advisor for BYD Brasil, who aims to position the brand among the top three best-selling in the nation by 2028.

The CEO sends out a cautionary message to competitors, announcing plans to release a variety of vehicles this year, ranging from SUVs to sedans, and even introducing the Shark. This unprecedented pick-up truck is expected to debut in the Brazilian market in the latter half of 2024, with a targeted launch window around August to September.

Photo Gallery: BYD Shark (2024)

At the worldwide unveiling in Mexico, the Shark Plug-in Hybrid caught everyone off guard with its starting price of roughly 49,300 Euros and the high-end model fetching approximately 53,200 Euros. Given that the pricing of models sold in Mexico and Brazil are similar, there's a strong likelihood that this pick-up truck could significantly shake up the market.

The CEO has confirmed that BYD's plant in Brazil is slated to commence production on a Semi Knocked Down (SKD) basis in December, with the fully assembled vehicles expected to roll out by June 2025. It is highly likely that the Song Plus model will be the first to go into production, given the strong market receptivity for this and similar models. Additionally, there is potential for the production of the Shark pick-up truck in Brazil, although a final decision has yet to be made. BYD states that the future of the pick-up's production will depend on its market reception in Brazil.

Regarding SUVs, Baldy mentioned that the transition to Flex-Fuel technology is currently in progress, however, he did not provide a forecast for when it will actually be available on the market.

Despite being a rival to the Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, and Chevrolet S10, the BYD Shark is slightly larger, measuring 5,457 mm in length, 1,971 mm in width, 1,925 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 3,260 mm. This means it surpasses the Hilux's dimensions by 132 mm in length, 71 mm in width, 110 mm in height, and its wheelbase extends an additional 175 mm. The cargo bed of the BYD Shark can hold up to 835 kg or has a volume of 1,450 liters.

Constructed on a body-on-frame design, this vehicle is set to deliver performance on par with its rivals. It shares its platform with the Fangchengbao series of SUVs. BYD has kept some mechanical specifications under wraps, yet it's confirmed that the vehicle will harness a plug-in hybrid system. This system merges a 1.5-liter turbocharged engine with a duo of electric motors, one at each axle, to produce a combined output exceeding 430 horsepower.

The Mexican website claims that the pick-up truck can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.7 seconds and boasts a total range of 840 km according to the NEDC test cycle. It is capable of covering a distance of 100 kilometers on a single battery charge. According to BYD, to achieve this efficiency, the pick-up utilizes the electric motor for 80 percent of its power, resulting in a consumption rate of 7.5 liters per 100 km.

The pick-up truck comes fully equipped with various high-tech features including a digital instrument panel measuring 10.25 inches, a pivotable 12.8-inch multimedia center similar to those found in the Dolphin or Song Plus models, a 360-degree camera system, a 180-degree underside view capability, a wireless charging pad for smartphones, a sizable 12-inch head-up display, six airbags for enhanced safety, adaptive cruise control, an automatic emergency braking system, lane-keeping assistance, among other advanced functionalities.

China here, China there:

Is the China Sea model suitable for Europe? That's yet to be determined. Even Toyota's Hilux, from the brand fond of hybrids, sports a 2.8-liter diesel engine in our market. However, there's a glimmer of hope: Ford unveiled a Ranger with a plug-in hybrid option in the fall of 2023. Whether this feature will be available in the VW Amarok, which is jointly produced with the Ranger, remains to be seen.

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