With one daughter and another on the way, the Bentvelsens were in the market for a roomier car.
Jerry, 34, grows cucumbers in Rotterdam and was familiar with China’s largest electric-vehicle maker from the family business using its commercial trucks.
Next week, he and his wife Jessica, 33, take delivery of a black BYD Tang, having been won over by a test drive in the seven-seat SUV that gets from 0-100 kph (62 mph) in 4.6 seconds.
If there were any doubts left that the company known for landing a major investment from Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has arrived on the world stage, the handover of keys to the Bentvelsens and BYD’s other European customers during this week’s Paris auto show put them to rest.
The world’s third-most-valuable automaker — behind Tesla and Toyota, and ahead of newly public Porsche — looks to be the frontrunner among Chinese challengers that roughly matched up with the number of western brands in attendance.
In its bid to enter Europe, BYD will initially sell three full-electric passenger vehicles in six European countries. The Atto 3, a compact crossover, will be sold for 38,000 euros ($36,480), while two midsize models, the Tang SUV and the Han sedan, have been priced at 72,000 euros. A second, as yet unpriced sedan, the Seal, will be added later. BYD is also mulling adding a small car, the Dolphin to its Europe lineup.
And BYD is doing more than just putting on a good show. It’s drawing interest from governments in central and southern Europe that are eager to land investment from the company, which is contemplating manufacturing cars locally as relationships between China and western countries that are threatened by its rise turn increasingly fraught.