EV behemoth

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The irony is lost on few that BYD, which stands for “Build Your Dreams,” has become a nightmare for American automakers. Fresh from dethroning Tesla as the world’s top EV maker last year, BYD’s well-crafted cars are disrupting the industry in a manner not seen since Japanese auto firms arrived in the 1970s. Bargain prices—its Seagull compact starts at $10,000 in China—stem from low wages but also making nearly all its own parts, including electric motors, dashboards, bodies, headlights and—crucially—batteries. But BYD has also benefited from state subsidies estimated at $3.7 billion, prompting the Biden administration in May to quadruple tariffs on Chinese EVs to 100%. Still, with 3 million vehicles sold worldwide last year from Brazil to Thailand, generating $83.2 billion in revenue, BYD’s dream of cheap, clean transport is taking over the rest of the world. “I believe the time has come for Chinese brands,” founder and CEO Wang Chuanfu said at an industry event last August.

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