China’s BYD Launches First Chartered Car Carrier To Ramp Up Exports

The BYD Explorer No. 1 is the first chartered cargo vessel developed and managed by Zodiac Maritime Ltd. and was built by the International Marine Containers Group Co. It can transport almost 7,000 vehicles and was commissioned by the BYD. The vessel is one of the integral components of BYD’s growth strategies, as the automaker owns the title of the top-selling auto brand in China.

Last year, China emerged as the most significant exporter of vehicles globally, and its automotive industry is set to grow further from there. This month, the first-ever Chinese-built cargo vessel built for vehicle exports set sail for Europe. Despite outselling Tesla in the sales of electric vehicles held in the fourth quarter of 2023, BYD continued to be the second-greatest EV manufacturer on earth for the whole year.

BYD Explorer 1
Image Credits: Caixin Global/Twitter

As part of its strategy to emerge as number one, it will expand its overseas sales. It also attempts to break into significant car-buying markets, such as Europe, where the BYD Explorer No. 1 is headed on its maiden journey, reports Bloomberg. The vessel set sail in Longkou, a port city in northeastern China, and paused in Yantai on 9 January. Now, it is on its way to Shenzen, the headquarters of BYD, and from there, it is expected to sail for Europe.

Ironically, it is once the vessel has reached Europe that BYD might expect headwinds. The steep growth of China’s auto industry has also prompted the governments of the continent to explore subsidizing their industry and exploring tariffs against China’s automakers.

Yet, the launch of the BYD Explorer No. 1 has arrived at a crucial time for the automaker. The Financial Times also reports that a ship shortage— derived from the decisions to scrap older vessels in the pandemic — has resulted in rising charter rates, increasing export costs.

The BYD Explorer No. 1 reportedly has a cruising range of 15,800 nm and is also powered, in part, by natural gas, which is observed to be greener than the fuel that is conventionally used by cargo vessels.

Reference: carscoops

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Marine Insight News Network is a premier source for up-to-date, comprehensive, and insightful coverage of the maritime industry. Dedicated to offering the latest news, trends, and analyses in shipping, marine technology, regulations, and global maritime affairs, Marine Insight News Network prides itself on delivering accurate, engaging, and relevant information.

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