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BYD has just opened a new flagship store in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley and the brand is expected to further expand its footprint into more retail spaces in the coming months.

The new BYD Flagship Store at 358 Wickham Street, Fortitude Valley, is the new halo retail space for the Chinese ‘new energy’ vehicle brand, which also has a number of retail touchpoints in Queensland’s capital city.

The new Flagship store joins Experience Centres in Indooroopilly, and Pop-Up Experiences in shopping malls in both Sunnybank and Mt Gravatt.The idea with these centres, according to Luke Todd, Australian CEO of BYD, is to allow customers to see, touch, feel and sit in the newest models from the brand, without pressure from salespeople in a more traditional showroom floor-style setting.

Mr Todd said the Brisbane Flagship shop is not the same concept as the one-off BYD Megastore in Alexandria in southern Sydney. He said the Queensland store is “more refined” and less “about showing off the tech”. 

“But yes, having more touchpoints, having more ability for people to test drive vehicles, interact, talk to people, talk to our product experts – we don’t have salespeople, we have product experts – and educate them on the car,” he said. 

“We originally were a digital platform, and EVDirect still is a digital platform. But with our partnership with Eagers Automotive, and the dealer group that we’re forming together, we’re rolling out more and more touchpoints. 

“I think we will actually be, by early next year, something like 50 retail locations right across the country.”

Currently, BYD has stores, experience centres or pop-ups in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, Tasmania, ACT, South Australia and Western Australia.

Mr Todd said he is hoping to see more customers in stores and to get more people in cars on test drives, with the new electric Seal sedan. It is priced from $49,888 plus on-road costs. The smaller Dolphin hatchback from $38,890 + ORC, expected to help get the proverbial bums on seats.

“We need to get people into our cars,” he said, claiming that customers who do a test drive get out saying they “love it”.

“And this is the thing, the more people who drive the BYD product will realise the quality. And then once you start to talk about safety… so we just need to get more people test-driving in our vehicles and get them seeing our vehicles on the road. And that will bridge the gap [to Tesla],” he said.

The new Seal range starts from $49,888 + ORC for the entry-level Dynamic RWD, while the mid-spec, larger-battery RWD Premium grade is $58,798 + ORC, and the Performance AWD model is a $68,798 + ORC proposition.

Even without the new Seal and Dolphin models, BYD has had a very strong year for sales in 2023 in Australia, tallying a total of 8706 sales to the end of September – all of which were the Atto 3 electric small SUV.

By Matt Campbell