“We received overwhelming feedback on the BYTON M-Byte at the IAA Frankfurt and in the following weeks. With a traditionally very critical European audience and many great cars from established manufacturers surrounding us, this makes us particularly proud. At the same time we are also confirmed in our concept by the current developments on the various European markets. We clearly notice this momentum in the current negotiations with retail and after-sales partners,” says Andreas Schaaf, BYTON CCO.
In all relevant markets, Andreas Schaaf and his European go-to-market team are currently developing tailor-made concepts and negotiating with potential partner companies. During the last weeks various MOU´s (Memorandum of Understanding) were signed with Hedin Automotive in Sweden, the French BYmyCAR Group, the Dutch Louwman Group, Salvador Caetano from Portugal and Modern Driving from Switzerland.
Starting price from 45,000 euros (excl. VAT and subsidies)
The BYTON M-Byte is a premium SUV and the first BYTON product to start pre-production in Nanjing. With the 48-inch display, BYTON is fulfilling the promise of a forward-looking, user-oriented operating philosophy that is changing the way people spend their time in the car. The curved 48-inch display is the world’s largest display in a production vehicle.
The BYTON M-Byte is positioned in the premium segment with a very competitive entry price of 45,000 € (excl. VAT and excl. possible government subsidies).
The entry-level model with a rear-mounted electric motor offers a peak output of 200 kW (272 hp) and a range of up to 360 kilometres or 224 miles (WLTP). The 4WD high-performance configuration of 300 kW (408 hp) is designed for a possible range of 435 kilometres or 270 miles (WLTP).
The battery capacity of the entry-level model of the BYTON M-Byte is 72 kWh. The 4WD high-performance model has a battery capacity of 95 kWh.
BYTON’s production facility is located in the Nanjing Economic and Technological Development Zone in Jiangsu Province and covers an area of 800,000 m² with a total investment of over USD 1.5 billion and a planned capacity of 300,000 units. The plant is built to industry standard 4.0 and features state-of-the-art manufacturing facilities and technologies as well as an innovative intelligent management system.
BYTON plans to deliver the first BYTON M-Bytes to Chinese customers in mid-2020. Advance orders from Europe and North America are expected to be received by the end of 2020. Market entry in these regions is planned for mid 2021. With an affordable entry price, a large range and excellent available space, the BYTON M-Byte is the ideal premium EV for everyday use.
Q&A Sales and After Sales in Europe
Question: With a new operating philosophy, BYTON is breaking with classic patterns in the automotive industry. Instead of Horsepower, BYTON relies on Data-Power. How can this be seen at the touch points with the customers – for example in retail and in after-sales or service?
Andreas Schaaf: We rely on a hybrid sales and service model with a focus on direct marketing. Online and offline channels are complementary and equally important. The customer decides and chooses his ‘customer journey’. We control the digital channels such as apps and webstores ourselves. Offline, we also rely on strong partners and innovative entrepreneurs who are firmly anchored and experienced in their respective markets. Depending on the market, there will be a varying number of BYTON Places, which will allow the brand and our products to be experienced in urban locations. These partners will use their own infrastructure and staff. BYTON is always the only direct contracting party for the customer. This has several advantages for both sides: So we us only one data pool and therefore always one customer approach and there is also no price competition.
Question: What is the status of the negotiations? And with whom do you negotiate?
Andreas Schaaf: The first talks started a few months ago, but the great success at the IAA and the current start of production have, of course, given us an additional push. The first letters of intent were signed in the last few days. We still have a lot of enquiries for all markets and now we have to check intensively who is the right mindset for us and our future customers. After all, customer requirements and customer demands of the next generation – our target group – will deviate considerably from the previous ones. This must also be reflected in our understanding of sales and service. Important here are partners who are prepared to really think new in this area and who are not tainted by old structures. In some areas, these may well be companies that have had nothing to do with the automotive industry up to now, but embody a lifestyle that suits our customers.
Question: In which European markets does BYTON start first?
Andreas Schaaf: We have an overview of the whole of Europe, but clearly prioritize individual markets here. These include Scandinavia and Norway in particular. We already have over 14,000 vehicle reservations from Norway alone via our app and website. Around 44 percent of all vehicles already drive electrically here. But markets such as Germany, the location of our Design Center, BeNeLux, France, Switzerland and Great Britain are also important. In any case, there will be a staggered roll-out here.