BYD Atto 3 – Sime Darby Motors targeting sales of 3,000 units a month for the all-electric SUV in Malaysia –

Having received 1,500 orders for the BYD Atto 3 in the first month of its launch, with 1,000 orders having being accomplished in the first 10 days, Sime Darby Motors – through its BYD SD Motors Malaysia division – is reportedly set to amp up sales of the all-electric SUV to 3,000 units per month. That push sounds ambitious, but is perhaps a little too ambitious at this juncture, according to RHB Investment Bank.

In a research note, analyst Jim Lim Khai Xhiang said that attaining those numbers could be difficult. “Sime Darby Motors is targeting sales of 3,000 units of the Atto 3 per month, which we feel is quite challenging given the lack of demand for EVs in Malaysia,” he said in the note. Actually, challenging would be understating the 3k a month target for the EV, given that sales of the Proton X50 averaged 3.3k per month in 2022 – it will certainly be interesting to see if the huge expectations can be met.

There was also very little indication that local assembly for the SUV would happen in the near future. The Chinese automaker has stated it will be investing RM500 million in the country, but this will be for the development of a showroom network, with no mention of assembly plans as yet.

“With the existing import and excise duty exemption for completely built-up (CBU) EVs, BYD currently has no incentive to assemble its cars locally. With BYD’s forthcoming Vietnam components factory and Thailand assembly plant, we think the carmaker will only consider assembly operations in Malaysia, given high EV adoption in the ASEAN region,” the note said.

Additionally, the investment bank said that Sime Darby Motors would be launching more BYD models in Malaysia this year, reiterating that which was previously indicated. It said that SDM would be introducing the Dolphin EA1 hatchback, Seal sedan and e6 MPV in 2023.

During the launch of the Atto 3, it was revealed that the Dolphin and Seal were due to make their way here sometime in the fourth quarter of this year, and the e6’s planned entry here was confirmed by the company as early as September last year. Both the Dolphin and Seal were previewed at the Atto 3’s debut.

The Dolphin is available in 174 hp/290 Nm and 94 hp/180 Nm output guises, both juiced by a 44.9 kWh LFP Blade battery. On a full charge, maximum operating range for the higher output unit is 401 km, while the lower output variant offers 405 km, both on a NEDC cycle. There’s also an entry-level Dolphin, which comes with the same 94 hp/180 Nm motor, but paired to a 30.7 kWh battery for up to 301 km of NEDC range.

As for the Seal, four variants are available in the domestic market, and it remains to be seen which will make its way here. The RWD Elite and Premium have a single 201 hp motor driving the rear wheels, and are equipped with a 61.4 kWh Blade battery offering 550 km of CLTC-rated travel.

There’s also a Long Range RWD, which features a 308 hp motor paired with a 82.5 kWh battery, upping the travel range to 700 km. Finally, there’s the Long Range AWD Performance, a two-motor variant with 523 hp and a 650 km operating range.

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