BYD and Mercedes-Benz tease new co-branded luxury electric vehicle coming this year

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A new BYD and Mercedes-Benz co-branded luxury electric vehicle will roll out before the end of the year. Ahead of its official debut, the new Denza EV was spotted testing, grabbing the attention of onlookers.

Denza was founded in 2010 as a 50:50 joint venture between Mercedes-Benz (Daimler) and BYD. Mercedes has since reduced its stake to just 10%, leaving BYD with the other 90%. The brand was one of the first JVs to focus on reducing vehicle emissions.

At the time, BYD was (and still is) a battery giant while establishing itself as an automaker. Mercedes saw it as an opportunity as China’s auto market began shifting to electric options.

Denza launched its new D9 MPV, the first under the re-branded partnership, with deliveries kicking off in October 2022. The brand also offers two SUVs, the N8 and N7. To compete with Tesla’s Model Y, Denza launched a new N7 earlier this month, slashing prices by up to 20% compared to the previous model.

The Denza N7 now starts at $33,150 (239,800 yuan), down 20% from $41,700 (301,800 yuan). In comparison, the Tesla Model Y starts at $36,482 (263,900 yuan) in China.

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Denza N7 (Source: Denza)

Denza announced Wednesday on its Weibo that the new N7 received 3,378 orders on launch day. The refresh came after monthly deliveries topped out at 1,810 in September 2023, data from CnEVPost shows.

BYD and Mercedes-Benz tease newest electric vehicle

Now, a new model is set to join the lineup. The BYD and Mercedes-Benz co-branded Denza teased its new luxury electric vehicle Friday.

Although hidden under camouflage, you can see the vehicle’s sleek, aerodynamic design. The brand says its clean, streamlined design culminates “in electric elegance that is sporty yet luxurious.”

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(Source: Denza)

Wolfgang Egger, Former Audi and Lamborghini brand designer, led the project. Egger said, “The design is simultaneously spirited and deluxe.”

The newly developed EV is equipped with BYD’s new energy tech. Denza claims it will be “the pioneer in building Chinese new energy luxury sedans into world-class vehicles.” It’s expected to go on sale by the end of the year.

BYD says the new model will play a “core role” in Denza’s (and its own) global expansion. Denza sold 10,279 vehicles in the first quarter of 2024, representing 123% growth from last year.

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(Source: Denza)

China’s leading automaker sold over 300,000 fully electric vehicles in the first three months of 2024, up 13% over last year. Meanwhile, PHEV sales reached 324,284 in Q1, up 14.5% for an overall Q1 sales total of 626,263.

BYD says new energy vehicles (including PHEVs) have entered the “knockout round,” with several low-cost EVs rolling out undercutting gas-powered vehicle prices.

The brand’s cheapest EV, the Seagull, starts at just $9,700 (69,800 yuan) as BYD looks to steal more market share from legacy automakers.

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