Chinese try again in Europe

Douglas A. Bolduc is News Editor of Automotive News Europe.
When BYD's auto export boss Henry Li told the Geneva auto show Tuesday that the fast-growing Chinese automaker will launch two cars – a full-electric and plug-in hybrid – in Europe next year thoughts of Landwind and Brilliance started to appear in my head.

Those two Chinese brands stumbled in Europe because their models performed poorly in crash tests. Brilliance also was hurt by the company's reluctance to lower its prices to combat reductions made by rivals in 2009 to keep sales alive in the middle of the recession.

Li promised BYD's models would meet European emissions and safety standards.

When asked why people should believe BYD can succeed when others – even automakers with the size and financial backing of Brilliance – failed, he said: "In China, there are many automakers. Some are big and some are small. Some are government run and others are independent. I believe we are one of the best and we are a very serious company."

Without a mountain of cash and unique product offering – something it has – BYD will join a long list of companies that came, saw and crumbled in the world's most competitive car market.