Chinese carmaker BYD is officially making its entry to the Philippine market through Solar Transport and Automotive Resources Corporation. BYD is a major player in the IT and new energy industries; it is considered to be a younger player in the Chinese automotive industry having been founded in 2002 as an independent automaker by Wang Chuanfu. Its parent company received a 9.89% acquisition from global investor Warren Buffett, signalling its entry to the US market two years later.
The Chinese carmaker debuted its first dual-mode electric vehicle and remote controlled vehicle at the 2012 Beijing International Auto Show. STAR Corp. will be headed by Solar Group’s Mark Tieng as its Managing Director and industry veteran Anna Marie Tanheuco as General Manager. Initially, the local distributor will be introducing three models – the S6 crossover, L3 sedan and F5 Suri sedan.
The C-segment F5 features the world’s first mass-produced Remote Driving Control technology that garnered Best Leading Science and Technology when it debuted at last year’s Beijing Auto Show. The Remote Driving Control allows for starting the car, turning the air-conditioning on, move forward, reverse and turn through the remote control, with a restricted speed of 2 km/h from a range of 10 meters for tight parking spots or moving your car closer in heavy rains.
It measures at 4680mm x 1765mm x 1490mm and sits on a 2660mm wheelbase, making it the longest in its class in terms of length. Powering the F5 is a BYD-developed ‘TID’ all-aluminum 1.5-liter fuel stratified injection DOHC turbo with variable valve timing churning out 154 PS and 240 Nm of torque, mated to a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
It also comes with safety features like 8 airbags, traction control, Bosch ESP, tire pressure monitoring, brake priority system, blindspot visibility system, and colored-display parking camera. The F5 will retail for Php1,018,000; the highest so far for a China-branded passenger car.
The S6 is the company's first independently designed crossover, which garnered China’s ‘SUV of the Year in 2012 with an accumulated sales of 60,198 units from April to December of 2011. It has also received a C-NCAP 5-star crash safety rating. It measures in at 4810mm x 1855mm x 1680mm with wheelbase of 2720mm.
The S6 will be available in two variants, both gasoline engine powered and front-wheel drive. A Php1,158,000 premiumvariant with by a Mitsubishi 4G69 2.4-liter multi-port injection engine mated to a 4-speed INVECS II automatic, and Php928,000 base variant with a BYD-developed 2.0-liter multi-port injection engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.
Both variants are equipped with a dual-mode sunroof, front and rear disc brakes with ABS and EBD, dual front, side and curtain airbags, parking radar, reverse camera, leather seats, comfort access key, and a 7-inch touch screen monitor with DVD player and nine speakers for entertainment. The premium variant gets cruise control standard.
The entry level C-segment L3 measures in at 4568mm x 1716mm x 1480mm and sits on a 2615mm wheelbase. It will come with two variants with a 109 PS 1.5-liter SOHC engine, front and rear disc brakes with ABS and EBD, leather seats and smart key standard.
The Php718,000 GSi variant will come with a dual clutch transmission, and premium features such as dual front airbags, DVD multimedia system, and power sunroof. The Php598,000 GLi will come with a 5-speed manual gearbox and CD-player.
The BYD showroom along Shaw Boulevard will open on September 7.