BYD plans to launch at least one new model per year in Japan over the next three years to expand its share of the world’s fourth largest auto market.

BYD Auto Japan launched two models in the second half of last year, the Atto 3 and Dolphin EVs, with the Seal to follow this year. The company plans to establish a strong presence in the country’s fledgling market for battery powered passenger vehicles which was estimated to account for just 2% of total vehicle sales.

BYD sold 1,400 vehicles in Japan last year but has set ambitious medium term growth targets for this market including plans to expand its dealer network to 100 outlets by 2025 from 20 now.

The company plans a major marketing campaign this year, including public test drives, to help increase brand awareness in a market dominated by local manufacturers.

BYD Auto Japan chief Liu Xueliang said, at the launch of the updated Atto 3: “We hope to launch new models by listening to customers’ needs and demands,” adding the models would be selected from the company’s exiting Chinese range.

The Atto 3 is priced at JPY4.5m (US$30,000) and comes with a larger dashboard mounted touchscreen and new infotainment features including a karaoke app.

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