Customer Referrals Make Up 25% Of BYD’s Total EV Sales In India: Sr. VP Sanjay Gopalakrishnan

China’s Build Your Dreams appears to have benefited from positive word-of-mouth marketing in the Indian market, as the brand saw overall volumes grow more than five-fold in 2023.

By Amaan Ahmed


3 mins read


Published on March 4, 2024

Follow us on



  • A quarter of BYD’s total sales in India generated through referrals from BYD vehicle owners.
  • Chinese EV brand has appointed dealers who have access to luxury car buyers in the country.
  • BYD India sold over 2,000 electric vehicles in 2023, as per registration data.

It’s not unheard of for a vehicle manufacturer entering a new market to spend a fortune on full-fledged marketing campaigns in a bid to establish its image in the minds of consumers. However, instead of a marketing blitz, China’s Build Your Dreams (BYD) relied on the credentials and capabilities of its electric vehicles (EV) to win over potential buyers, and the decision appears to have paid off handsomely, as nearly a quarter of the brand’s total EV sales in India now come through consumer referrals, as per a senior company official.


Also Read: BYD Seal Bookings Open In India Ahead Of Launch


Speaking to carandbike ahead of the launch of the brand’s third model for India, the Seal sedan, Sanjay Gopalakrishnan, Senior Vice President – Electric Passenger Vehicle Business at BYD India, confirmed “nearly 25 per cent” of BYD’s overall volumes in the last year have come through existing BYD vehicle owners referring friends, family and acquaintances to buy one of the company’s EVs.


BYD currently has 24 dealerships across India.


“Customer mindset is never a challenge for us because [our products] are very good. Our vehicle’s range is better than that of some luxury EVs. For EVs, referral sales are very important, and for us, they amount to nearly 25 per cent of total sales”, Gopalakrishnan told carandbike.


BYD went from selling just over 350 vehicles in 2022 – which is when it also opened up sales to private-use buyers – to over 2,000 vehicles in 2023, an over five-fold increase in total volumes, as per registration data on the VAHAN portal. Volumes were boosted by the launch of the Atto 3 electric SUV, which is also BYD’s highest-selling model, followed by the E6 MPV.


Also Read: BYD Seal To Be Offered With Single- And Dual-Motor (AWD) Options In India


BYD delivered over 2,000 EVs in India in 2023.


Interestingly, to fully leverage the potential of referrals, BYD, for its India operations, chose dealer partners who are also engaged in the business of selling luxury cars. Gopalakrishnan revealed that all BYD dealers in India are also existing dealers of German and British luxury cars, which gives them access to the kind of audiences that would be interested in buying an upscale electric car.


“The dealers play an important role because they know their localities quite well. They tap the right customer base, sell the car, and after some time, the [buyers] are impressed and then the positive feedback spreads via word-of-mouth”, said Gopalakrishnan.


BYD’s latest offering in India will also be its most expensive yet, with the Seal portfolio – which will come to India as a full import – expected to start at well over Rs 40 lakh. While Gopalakrishnan acknowledged the Seal will remain a niche offering here, BYD first wants to build its image as a premium, reliable, tech-first brand before expanding its portfolio to include more accessible models.


The Seal will come to India as a CBU.


“At a particular price, if they get the [desired] value from a car, customers don't mind the premium they have to pay for it. For us to establish the brand, we are looking at a premium play. We have a wide range of products globally that we can bring in, so we will see how the market develops, and at the right time, we will come in with the right products”, Gopalakrishnan added.


The company is aiming to expand its dealership network – which currently comprises 24 outlets – to be able to cover 90 per cent of India’s passenger EV market by the end of 2024.

Stay updated with automotive news and reviews right at your fingertips through carandbike.com's WhatsApp Channel.

Great Deals on Used Cars

View All Used Cars

Popular BYD Models

Explore More