BYD will begin UK sales of its electric Atto 3 model in the coming weeks, following the appointment of five dealer partners.

The Volkswagen ID 3 and MG4-rivalling compact SUV is powered by a 60kWh battery, giving a range of up to 261 miles. It uses a 204PS electric motor to power the front wheels and has a claimed 0-62mph acceleration time of 7.3 seconds.

Pricing and specification details are yet to be revealed, but the Atto 3 has been awarded a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.

The first appointed UK dealer partners will start receiving cars, with sales commencing in the coming weeks.

Pendragon was the first UK dealer to partner with BYD, announcing the tie-up in September last year.

Arnold Clark was confirmed as the sole retailer of BYD models in Scotland, in December, after its shock exit from the Toyota and Ford retail networks.

Lookers and LSH Holdings have since been named as partners.

Michael Shu, general manager and managing director of BYD Europe and International Cooperation Division, said: “A vital principle of the BYD strategy is to work with the best partners. We have selected dealer groups with the expertise and geographic footprint to provide outstanding customer service. We will start building the network in territories where our partners are dominant and can best demonstrate and display our range of new models. We look forward to working with our partners as we build the BYD brand in the UK.”

BYD does not operate under an agency model franchise agreement, echoing the more traditional approach taken by fellow market newcomer Great Wall Motors’ Ora EV brand, which has already been taken on by Peter Vardy and Wessex Garages.

BYD’s assistant general manager for Europe, Brian Yang said that the UK network might face a challenge to establish itself with just one vehicle but added that situation was unlikely to last for long.

“Next year (2023) we will bring a more comprehensive line-up,” he said, “and all of those models will be made in right-hand drive.”

Among the likely follow-up zero-emissions vehicles are a seven-seat SUV, called Tang, and the Han saloon.

BYD has already launched across several European countries, including Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. Further UK dealer partners, product, and pricing information will be confirmed in the coming weeks.

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