I'm excited by the prospects of the introduction of BYD cars, but I'm apprehensive about Vantage Motors as their agent...
Their track record with Ford has not been the best..
As for the idea of buying an electric car, there's a whole debate on how green they really are, especially when you take into account the carbon footprint of making the battery and it's disposal.
As for buying Chinese, that's ok, there are different levels of QC - their local Chinese market ones can be quite nasty, but their better ones are very impressive. I think they will want to put their best food forward.. and already BYD cars are being used as taxis..
Vantage will be pleased, their business has been rather slow recently..
Vantage Automotive is banking on the lower running cost of electric cars and growing availability of public charging stations to help make the dealership more viableChristopher Tan Senior Correspondent
Peugeot and Ford dealer Vantage Automotive has bagged the franchise for Chinese electric car brand BYD.
Part of diversified Sime Singapore, Vantage will house BYD on the second floor of its facility in 305 Alexandra Road.
The BYD showroom will be next to Ford's. The first model on its floor will be the E6, a large battery-powered five-seater now being used as a private-hire car.
By early next year, an electric multi-purpose vehicle, the Song Max, will arrive, to be followed by other battery-driven cars from Shenzhen-based BYD.
Although BYD makes cars powered by combustion engines, Vantage managing director Christopher Chin says the dealership will offer only all-electric models.
"We see this as a platform for us to get into electrification, which is the future," Mr Chin says. "It will be a good learning curve for us."
The E6 will be priced at around $130,000, making it the least expensive electric car of its size here.
The car has been spruced up to differentiate it from the for-hire E6s plying here. Features such as new colours, a powered tailgate, infotainment touchscreen and leather upholstery are added.
Mr Chin says the significantly lower running cost of electric cars and the growing availability of public charging stations will help make the new dealership more viable.
By next year, Singapore Power will have 1,000 charging points across the island, while electric car-sharing group BlueSG will make 400 of its outlets available to the public.
"We should be able to reach around 100 units a year very quickly," he says, noting that the figure was equivalent to what Ford sales were last year.
Vantage will also consider bringing in BYD electric commercial vehicles in the future. BYD makes battery-powered buses and trucks too.
Vantage has been on the lookout for new businesses since Ford became less viable last year on the back of stricter emission standards, higher costs and a shrinking product range.
Currently, there are only two Ford models at Vantage - the Mustang coupe and Ranger pick-up truck. Sales have slowed to almost a complete halt this year.
Mr Chin says Vantage has not given up on Ford yet, though. He says it will have a meeting with the American manufacturer's regional office soon to "revive discussions" on, among other things, expanding the product range here.
"We should have a better picture by the end of the month," he adds, but "we're not putting all our eggs in one basket".
Vantage will be renovating its ground-floor space now occupied by its used-car division. But Mr Chin declined to say what the space will be used for.
BYD is one of the first electric vehicle manufacturers in China. It is also a major battery supplier, specialising in lithium-iron phosphate batteries, which are said to be more stable and less prone to fires than other lithium-based batteries.
BYD is not a selectable option in the list of car brands for discussion...
Edited by BabyBlade, Today, 05:36 PM.