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Geneva Motor Show Turns Into Chinese Affair, BYD Will Flood the Palexpo Floor With EVs

Geneva Motor Show Turns Into Chinese Affair, BYD Will Flood the Palexpo Floor With EVs
BYD announces massive presence at 2024 Geneva Motor Show 6 photos

Photo: BYD
BYD TangDenza D9e? platform and the DiSus-P Intelligent Hydraulic Body Control SystemBYD Seal UYangwang U8
Western carmakers are not attending auto shows anymore, a trend that started well before the pandemic. However, Chinese carmakers are more than willing to replace them. BYD, on track to become the biggest EV maker in 2024, announced a massive presence at the Geneva Motor Show.
As traditional carmakers in Europe and North America no longer see benefits from their presence at conventional auto shows, the organizers have tried to reinvent the events or let them die. There are very few auto shows left in North America and Europe, with much of the glitz in the automotive world moving to China at local motor shows. However, for the few events that survived, Chinese carmakers might also offer a chance to stay afloat in the coming years.

This became crystal clear earlier this year when the Detroit Auto Show organizers announced skipping 2024 and planning for an early 2025 timeline. The Detroit Auto Dealers Association tried to reinvent the show after a three-year hiatus caused by the pandemic. It worked in 2022, but NAIAS flopped last year, prompting the organizers to reconsider a return to the old format.

The Geneva Motor Show in Europe suffered a similar fate after trying a bizarre reshuffle by holding the 2023 edition in Qatar. The organizers want a Middle East exhibition every two years, probably alternating it with the traditional event in Geneva. Judging by the lackluster presence at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, this might be the last year we’ll see a car exhibition at Palexpo.

Only eight carmakers attend the Geneva Motor Show at the end of February, the most important being China’s BYD. Another Chinese-owned carmaker, MG Motors, will also be attending the show. Renault and Dacia are the only big European carmakers with a stand at Palexpo, while Lucid Motors is also trying to lure some European buyers. The Chinese presence might save the show this year and offer another lease of life in the future.

BYD will showcase an impressive lineup in Geneva, most of the cars being electric. Many are European premieres, marking the European expansion of the carmakers that is set to surpass Tesla as the biggest EV maker in the world. However, the highlight of this year’s presence is a plug-in hybrid SUV. The BYD Seal U DM-i, an SUV based on the Seal sedan, features Super DM (Dual Mode) Technology, BYD’s commercial name for a PHEV powertrain. The Seal U DM-i is meant for European countries that don’t have an extensive charging infrastructure yet.

BYD also showcases the completely renewed Tang, a seven-seater, fully-electric SUV. This has been recently awarded the maximum of 5 stars by Euro NCAP, underlying BYD’s commitment to safety. However, the biggest surprise the Chinese carmaker offers in Geneva is the European debut of two sub-brands, Yangwang and Denza. While the former is an ultra-luxury brand, Denza is a premium brand BYD jointly developed with Mercedes-Benz.

While Denza was bound to expand in Europe, YangWang was more of a Chinese affair. The brand’s name is not great for European customers, or so I thought. It turns out the Chinese carmaker is confident enough in its strengths to launch Yangwang in Europe despite its name. The first product in Europe is the Yangwang U8. This has already made headlines for its ability to float and tank-turn, thanks to its four independent electric motors. The YangWang U8 also features BYD’s DiSus Intelligent Body Control System, an active anti-roll system.