There are big changes afoot at the BYD Research and Development department. Its head, Wang Huan, has left the company now, and his former team has been spun off. The majority of its 500 members became part of the electronics integration department with its director Han Bing becoming the new head of Smart Driving R&D.
Until now the electronics integration department was simply responsible for the development of operating systems and supporting hardware. With the added responsibility of R&D of autonomous and smart driving signals BYD’s push for faster in-house research and much quicker implementation.
The new joint R&D team has over 1,000 engineers and has been promoted by BYD to one of its three core businesses. This is a significant progress and according to local reports, it is a clear signal that the company is going ahead with its own chip design and manufacturing.
BYD vehicles currently rely on smart driving solutions from Huawei, Baidu, and Momenta but the company has been ramping up its own development. The R&D team integration is just another sign that BYD in fact wants to try its own hand at chip design; the company has recently stopped cooperation with some of its suppliers which only strengthens its position.
BYD is changing the way it operates, the company is planning to make its brands act as separate businesses. Each brand will have its own independent R&D department with Dynasty, Ocean, and Denza EV families to be the first ones.
The Chinese automotive giant has ambitious plans, that’s for sure. The company wants to sell at least 3 million vehicles this year but the BYD’s chairman already upped this number to 3.6 million during the latest investor conference. BYD wants to be the biggest automaker in China and wants the title this year and with its sales doubling year-on-year, it is well on its way to achieving that.
This is an interesting development from BYD after the company suggested autonomous driving technology is an impossible task. It seems there is a lack of communication within the company or BYD is trying to confuse the competitors. Unless the company decides to go with the “autonomous driving is impossible” and focus its efforts on other solutions. As usual – time will tell.