There was a new name from China at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, and it was BYD. The initials stand for Build Your Dreams, and the company was formed in 1995 with the merger of two smaller Chinese car firms. Its ambitious plans include wanting to get into Europe by 2010 and into North America soon after.
Bosses claim their first international offering will be the F3, a compact sedan in the C-segment to compete against the likes of the Honda Civic and Toyota Auris.
A Dual Mode (DM) version of the F3 was on the Geneva stand. It’s a hybrid, but while most cars of this type rely on a gasoline engine with an electric motor for support, the F3 DM does it the other way round. Despite the vehicle’s size, at around 165 inches long, it has only a 1.0-liter engine.
BYD also revealed it has plans to design a new car especially for Europe. Bosses wouldn’t say what that model will be, only that it will be smaller than the F3.
Such a vehicle was also on display. The F1 is a city car that bears more than a striking resemblance to Toyota’s popular Aygo urban runabout. It was joined by the F3R, a five-door compact hatchback.--Richard Yarrow