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We’ll ‘deal with’ any UK Chinese car tariffs if and when they come – BYD

  • Speaking exclusively to Car Dealer BYD’s Mark Blundell says he’s ‘not stressing’ about potential tariffs
  • EU and US imposing heavy tariffs on Chinese-made cars 
  • No word yet whether UK will follow suit with similar import taxes

Time 8:42 am, July 1, 2024

BYD says it will ‘deal with’ any tariffs imposed on Chinese electric cars if they’re ever added in the UK.

Europe is threatening Chinese electric cars with import tariffs of as much as 35% while the United States has added 100% rates to Chinese-made models in an attempt to protect home manufacturers.

There are no such tariffs yet imposed in the UK, but they are a very real fear of car dealers representing Chinese brands.

One BYD franchisee privately told Car Dealer that the threat of tariffs in the UK was something that could ‘seriously damage’ the brand’s expansion and sales.

Asked whether potential UK import tariffs worries him, BYD’s head of marketing in the UK, Mark Blundell, said: ‘It’s not something we have discussed at any great length. 

‘It’s not something I can really comment on as it’s a governmental matter. It’s an EU tariff at the moment and not a UK one, so we’ll deal with whatever comes our way, when it comes our way – if it does.

‘It’s not something I am stressing about.’

The EU has tabled a motion – to be voted on by November 2 – that will add a further 25% tariff to the 10% tax already in place on Chinese electric cars. 

The move increases the price consumers pay for the Chinese cars in dealerships unless the manufacturers absorb the costs.

The EU fears Chinese car makers have been given an unfair advantage after years of heavy subsidies from the state.

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Blundell also told Car Dealer that he’d like to see support for the UK car market from an incoming government to boost EV uptake.

He said: ‘In my opinion, I think whatever the government can do, would help.

‘From a BYD perspective we have the luxury of being in this growth phase anyway, but of course, it would help accelerate the switch.

‘If there’s any incentives going, we’d be grateful for those, as everybody would be I think. But it’s not something we’re lying awake at night worrying about at the moment.’

Blundell explained BYD has plans to have up to 100 UK dealerships eventually. Currently, it operates 33, rising to 45 in the next few months.

He added: ‘By the end of the year, we’ll maybe have about 60 sites. We feel we have the right number of partners now and we’re growing our network through them.’

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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