BYD, Pendragon in advanced talks to bring EVs to U.K.

British auto dealer Pendragon is in advanced discussions with BYD to be its U.K. launch partner as China’s biggest electric-vehicle maker enters the market later this year.

The move is part of Pendragon’s broader efforts to boost its new vehicle franchise business, the London-based company said in a statement Wednesday, after posting 1.6 percent first-half revenue growth.

Supply problems with both old and new cars contributed to “challenging trading conditions” in the period, said CEO Bill Berman, along with high inflation. Berman said he expects “the environment to remain challenging in the second half of the year.”

However, the company said it was “excited to be in advanced discussions with electric vehicle manufacturer BYD to be the U.K. launch partner.”

The talks come as BYD strives to expand its business beyond China and become a global brand.

Early in September, the company signed a land-purchase deal in Thailand to construct its first EV plant in Southeast Asia.

Elsewhere, BYD is also targeting Cambodia, Denmark, Japan, Sweden and Israel in a push to build presence abroad.

SAIC’s MG Motor is achieving success in the British market with vehicles imported from China. MG was a storied British brand before it was bought by the Chinese.

MG sales in the U.K. rose 69 percent to 29,553 in the first eight months, giving the brand a 3.01 percent market share, according to industry association SMMT.

Automotive News Europe contributed to this report

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