Place: Guangzhou, Guangdong Province
Chinese name: 比亚迪唐 (bǐyǎdí táng)
Year of launch: 2014 (S6: 2010)
BYD Auto is a subsidiary of BYD Company, a major manufacturer of rechargeable batteries. BYD started producing cars in 2005 when it acquired Qinchuan, a company that produced the Flyer small car. In 2005 it was followed by the hugely popular F3, a copy of the Toyota Corolla E120. It was the best selling car in China in 2009. BYD is infamous for copying cars of Japanese car manufacturers: through the years it has made copies of the Toyota Aygo, Corolla E120, E140, Estima, Honda Accord, Honda Odyssey and Renault Mégane Coupé-Cabriolet, while other cars have striking similarities with the Buick Excelle HRV, Mercedes-Benz SL and Lexus RX. Two years after the arrival of the F3 sedan the hatchback version, named F3R, was launched, which means it is a mechanical copy of the Toyota Corolla as well, albeit now with a rear end inspired by the Buick HRV (Daewoo/Chevrolet Lacetti).
As a battery producer, BYD is one of the largest makers of electric cars and plug-in hybrids in the world. The F3DM was the world's first mass-produced plug-in hybrid. One year later it launched the e6, an electric vehicle, which is also operating as a taxi in cities of countries including Belgium, Colombia, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the USA. BYD is currently naming their cars after the Chinese dynasties, with names including Qin, Tang, Song, Yuan and Shang.
The BYD S6, launched in 2010, was BYD's first SUV and 'slightly' resembles the Lexus RX. BYD showcased the facelifted version, named BYD S7, in 2013. It only reached the market by the end of 2014. Yet another version of the SUV was introduced in 2014: the Tang plug-in hybrid SUV. The Tang is powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine (208 hp) mated to two electric motors (two times 152 hp), combined power is 512 hp, maximum torque is a huge 720 Nm. Acceleration from 0-100 takes place in 4.9 seconds, fuel consumption is below 2 l/100 km. Combined sales of the three SUVs were nearing 150,000 sales in 2015, but the S6 has been discontinued and sales of the S7 and Tang are down.