BYD is taking high-performance hybrid SUVs to the next level by entering the cheap car market with the heavy Tang 542.
The car has the comfort one expects from a high end SUV along with 505 horsepower, four wheel drive, and a quite boast-worthy mileage of 2 liters per 100 km.
What the naysayers always said about electric and cheap hybrid cars like the BYD Tang 542 was that they’d never be powerful enough to be taken seriously. Tesla Motors certainly proved them wrong by producing the first reliable electric sports car. Note that this price tag is about half that of the Tesla Model X, which may be a superior SUV – but is it worth the extra $35,000?
We’ve already seen the new GM pickup truck project in production with its hybrid form, and there are a number of other competitors in the market which are however too expensive to be competitive at this price point. Generally, the trend has already been set toward fuel efficient cars. It just remains to be seen which companies will adapt and which will falter as a result of not having upgraded its technology.
The cheap Tang 542 Hybrid is a step in the right direction, and once consumers start realizing how beneficial fuel efficient cars are for their wallet book they’ll likely be far more willing to take the pain of paying more up front for the car, rather than paying more in terms of gas over the long run.
One must note however that as a Chinese company, BYD, even with the help of Warren Buffet, may have trouble shipping its cars all the way to the United States and still competing. Keep in mind that the US in some states has even made Tesla Motors illegal.
When it comes to foreign competitors US trade policy is likely to be even more protectionist of large auto companies, especially if this car is deemed to be a significant threat. US consumers will just have to keep their fingers crossed and hope that the government will do the right thing for the consumer.