Authorities Probe BYD Dealers for Unfair Discount Complaints

Thai consumer protection authorities are investigating BYD dealers following a consumer complaint about aggressive discounting by the Chinese electric vehicle maker, which has left some buyers upset about their car purchase prices.

The investigation began after a BYD customer claimed that a sales representative said the car price would increase after a discount campaign ended, but the dealership later reduced the price further instead.

BYD executives in Thailand and its sole distributor, Rever Automotive, which has over 100 dealerships, did not immediately respond to Reuters’ emails seeking comment.

Passakorn Thapmongkol, a senior official at the Office of the Consumer Protection Board, said, “We have called the dealers to come in this week to clarify why they further reduced prices and how they plan to resolve issues for customers.”

Other Thai customers in a BYD owners’ group on Facebook shared similar complaints.

“The salesperson said that prices would increase after the motor show, but in the end, they were actually reduced,” Facebook user Thanasit Chai stated in a post on Wednesday, referring to the Bangkok International Motor Show held in March.

Thailand is the largest international market for the world’s leading EV manufacturer.

BYD held a dominant 46% share of the Thai EV market in the first quarter and ranks as the third-largest player in passenger cars overall, capturing approximately 9% of the market share, as reported by research firm Counterpoint.

Other EV competitors in the market include Great Wall Motor and Tesla.

BYD is set to open its first EV production facility in Southeast Asia in Rayong province on Thursday. The company intends to invest approximately $490 million in the facility with the aim of manufacturing 150,000 cars annually.

Shenzhen-headquartered BYD currently offers four models in Thailand priced between 699,999 and 1.59 million baht, as reported by the Rever website.

Driven by BYD and VinFast of Vietnam, electric vehicle (EV) sales in Southeast Asia have more than doubled since last year, overshadowing the market share of Japanese and Korean manufacturers of traditional combustion-engine models.