By Sherry Qin

BYD unveiled an updated version of its cheapest electric car model, Seagull, and further slashed its starting price, deepening a price war amid rising competition in China, the world's largest car market.

The Chinese electric-vehicle company lowered the starting price of its updated version of Seagull by around 5% to 69,800 yuan ($9,698) on Wednesday.

The price cut came two days after BYD set the starting price for its new Yuan Plus crossover at CNY119,800, around 12% lower than the previous version.

Similarly, rival Tesla rolled out more incentives in China last week, including insurance subsidies, after the U.S. carmaker cut the starting price of its entry-level Model 3 by 5.9% and the price of its Model Y by 2.8% in January.

EV makers have faced greater pressure amid slowing vehicle sales and overcapacity in the world's second-largest economy.

BYD's shipments tumbled to 121,748 vehicles in February from 201,493 a month earlier, while Tesla shipped 60,365 China-made vehicles during February, its lowest monthly reading since late 2022, preliminary data from the China Passenger Car Association showed Monday.

Write to Sherry Qin at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

03-06-24 0220ET