Chinese electric cars are not here to cut prices: they prove it at the Paris Motor Show

The Paris Motor Show is an opportunity to discover new manufacturers, including several Chinese brands such as Ora or BYD. But if we expected them to come and lower the prices of electric cars, it’s missed!

The arrival of several Chinese manufacturers in Europe worries both politicians and historical manufacturers. They fear that Chinese brands will come up with a particularly aggressive and cheap commercial offer. The Paris Motor Show was the perfect opportunity to get a closer look at the models that could soon be on our roads and to learn more about BYD and Great Wall Motors’ (GWM) intentions for ‘Europe.

These two manufacturers have put significant resources into the Paris Motor Show to make themselves known. While many expected to see budget cars, it’s actually more of a mid- to high-end market that these brands are targeting.

ORA is still looking for the French distributor that meets their expectations

On the occasion of Mondial, the Great Wall Motors group came to present its brands Wey and Ora on a stand as impressive as Renault’s. Ora is the 100% electric branch that caters to a rather trendy clientele, no pun intended. If the Ora Funky Cat in China starts at less than €15,000, in Europe it comes with a price range ranging from €35,000 for the base version to €45,000 for the GT.

Ora Funky Cat GT at the Paris Motor Show // Source: Raphaelle Baut

It will therefore not really be a competitor to the MG4, which starts at less than €30,000. The Ora Funky Cat is closer to the Renault Megane e-tech in its price positioning and equipment.

However, we will have to wait a little longer to know its final prices for France. The Ora brand is still looking for the network of distributors that can match the image they want to convey. The idea is to create points of sale that have a soul, a lifestyle and a true brand identity ”, explained its marketing director, Rebecca Ophelia Grajecki, who previously worked in the luxury sector.

Finally, in spirit and positioning, the Ora is closer to the Mini. We are therefore quite far from the image of cheap Chinese brands.

The next Ora Cat // Source: Raphaelle Baut
The next Ora Cat // Source: Raphaelle Baut

In addition, Ora also presented another novelty at the Mondial de Paris. there” Next Ora Cat gets the appearance of a large 4-door coupé, whose lines strangely remind us of those of a Porsche Panamera, and the interior of other luxury models. With this model, the brand does not hide its intentions to integrate the premium world.

Interior of the Next Ora Cat // Source: Raphaelle Baut
Interior of the Next Ora Cat // Source: Raphaelle Baut

New perspectives for BYD or Build your dream

It is commonly said that these Chinese manufacturers are just arriving on the European continent, but that is not really the case with BYD. The manufacturer has marketed its electric buses for many years in Europe, part of the production even takes place in Europe. BYD also supplies batteries and electronic components.

BYD pre-show conference // Source: Raphaelle Baut
BYD pre-show conference // Source: Raphaelle Baut

While the manufacturer has already produced 11 million cars for China, it has decided to export to the automotive segment. During the Paris Automotive Week Summit, the manufacturer indicated that China and Europe represented 80% of the electric car market. This growth opportunity is hard to miss. However, BYD has no plans to flood Europe with cheap models.

The brand therefore used the Paris Motor Show to present its various models with great fanfare. During a “pre-show” evening, BYD unveiled its models: Atto 3, Han and Tang to the press and influencers. The brand took the opportunity to confirm its pricing for France and shared the name of the brand’s distributors: By My Car dealers for France.

BYD Atto3 // Source: Raphaelle Baut
BYD Atto3 // Source: Raphaelle Baut

The Atto3 model, a product specially developed for European customers, is available from €39,990 in a version with a 50 kWh battery. For the model equipped with the 60 kWh battery, the budget must increase to €43,690 for the first of the 3 finishes. This model is sure to be the most successful as it offers good value for money and a somewhat original interior that can stand out from the competition.

The other two models, Han and Tang, are aimed at premium vehicle enthusiasts. Both models are marketed in France from €70,800.

Interior of the BYD Tang SUV // Source: Raphaelle Baut
Interior of the BYD Tang SUV // Source: Raphaelle Baut

BYD also exclusively exhibited a new sedan called the Seal that could compete with Tesla’s Model 3. Once again, we are far from the price breakers that traditional builders and politicians fear.

BYD Seal // Source: Raphaelle Baut
BYD Seal // Source: Raphaelle Baut

More affordable or almost: Seres and Leapmotor

It is the French distributor of these two brands that has chosen to exhibit at the Mondial de Paris. With models and a price positioning closer to what MG offers. They are ultimately the only ones offering slightly more affordable Chinese EVs, such as the Leapmotor T03, but without completely disrupting the EV market with knockdown prices.

Leapmotor T03 // Source: Raphaelle Baut
Leapmotor T03 // Source: Raphaelle Baut

Seres even presented its future model, the Seres 5, which wants to tackle the premium market. One more !

Seres 5 // Source: Raphaelle Baut
Seres 5 // Source: Raphaelle Baut

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