BYD's compact electric vehicle the "Dolphin": Initial consumer reactions and its interest group

BYD's compact electric vehicle the "Dolphin": Initial consumer reactions and its interest group

EV company BYD entered the Japan following Tesla. On Sep. 20, 2023, it launched its second EV in Japan, the Dolphin. It is relatively affordable at 3.63 million yen and is gaining attention for functionality. We researched visitors to the BYD Dolphin web page to see consumers’ initial reaction and the interest group.


About BYD's compact EV "Dolphin"

The Dolphin is BYD's second EV offered in the Japanese market following the ATTO3, and unlike the midsize SUV ATTO3, it is a compact EV.

The size is 4,290 mm in length, 1,770 mm in width, and 1,550 mm in height, which is about the same size as the popular compact car the Toyota Yaris Cross. The base price is 3.63 million yen, but since the CEV (Cell Energy Vehicle) subsidy provided when purchasing a car with a low environmental impact is 650,000 yen, the actual price will be less than 3 million yen (as of November 2023).

The standard model has a cruising range of 400 kilometers on a full charge, which is relatively long among EVs. It also has high safety performance and is equipped with a number of functions such as the “Collision Mitigation Braking System,” “Adaptive Cruise Control” to ensure the distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, and “Lane Keeping Assist System” to keep you in your lane. With the BYD Dolphin with such specifications, you can purchase a compact-size EV at an exceptional price.

What kind of demographic is interested in BYD’s “Dolphin”?

Now, let's consider which demographic has interest in the BYD Dolphin by looking at the data gathered from those who visited BYD’s Dolphin website from September to October 2023.

This research was conducted using VALUES’ online behavioral analytics tool “Dockpit,” which uses online behavior log data that is updated monthly to analyze competitive websites and research trends.

First, let's look at the number of visitors to BYD’s Dolphin web page.

In September 2023, the month of its release, there were 50,000 visitors, but in October, there were 200,000 visitors to the page. The number of visitors has increased by four times in one month, which demonstrates the level of attention it has garnered.

Visitors to BYD’s Dolphin web page
Period: September 2023 - October 2023
Devices: PC, smartphone

The number of male visitors is high, and the attention is high among people in their 50s and above

Next, let's look at the male to female ratio among visitors.

Visitors to BYD’s Dolphin web page by gender
Period: September 2023 - October 2023
Devices: PC, smartphone

There is also a genre called cars, where the percentage of men is high at 76.4%. Approximately three-quarters of visitors are male.

Visitors to BYD’s Dolphin web page by age group
Period: September 2023 - October 2023
Devices: PC, smartphone

Looking at the age groups of visitors, a high percentage of visitors are in their 50s to 70s, exceeding the overall number of Internet users.

In addition to the long cruising range, which is a characteristic of EVs, the fact that they are equipped with many of the safety-related functions mentioned above may be why they are attracting attention from the middle class and above.

Looking at unmarried visitors, we find that there are many married visitors, and many visitors with children.

Visitors to BYD’s Dolphin web page by marital status
Period: September 2023 - October 2023
Devices: PC, smartphone

Visitors to BYD’s Dolphin web pages by whether they have children or not
Period: September 2023 - October 2023
Devices: PC, smartphone

If you consider the persona of someone who is married and has children, you might imagine someone who prefers family cars over compact cars, but if you take into account that there are many web page visitors in their 50s to 70s, you get a slightly different persona.

Rather than riding with children, we can assume that people who no longer have to care for their children or whose children have moved out of their parents’ home are looking for compact EVs to drive around town.

We also see visitors whose annual household income is less than 4 million yen

Now that we know the ratios by gender, age group, and marital status, let's take a look at which annual household income groups are interested in the BYD Dolphin.

Visitors to BYD’s Dolphin web page by annual household income
Period: September 2023 - October 2023
Devices: PC, smartphone

The BYD Dolphin is characterized by its low price for being an EV, but it is surprising that they keep the price low considering that many of its web page visitors have annual household incomes between 6 million yen and 15 million yen.

Visitors to BYD’s ATTO3 web page by marital status
Period: September 2023 - October 2023
Devices: PC, smartphone

However, compared to ATTO3, which BYD first started selling on January 31, 2023, the number of visitors that have an annual income of less than 4 million yen is 5% higher.

The selling price of the ATTO3 is 4.4 million yen, an 800,000 yen difference from the Dolphin's price of 3.63 million yen. This shows that among BYD cars, people with lower annual household incomes are interested.

High interest among car enthusiasts who view a lot of automotive-related media

So, what other kinds of websites are website visitors usually interested in? Here, we will look at the data for September 2023 when BYD’s Dolphin was first released.

Interest sites among BYD’s Dolphin web page visitor (prioritizing reach difference)
Period: September 2023
Devices: PC, smartphone

Looking at the top 10 websites, we can see that automotive-related media, such as car carview!, a website about car sensors and general car-related information, are viewed frequently, indicating that the high level of interest among car enthusiasts.

Additionally, since Nissan, which has the highest domestic EV sales, is ranked 8th, it seems that cars domestically produced in Japan are also considered for comparison.

Considering that Tesla, which ranks number one in global EV sales, is not included in the ranking, BYD’s Dolphin and Tesla may have different interest groups.

Investigating the BYD Dolphin’s digital traffic sources

From here, we will take a look at the traffic sources of BYD’s Dolphin website.

The traffic sources to BYD’s Dolphin web page
Period: September 2023 - October 2023
Devices: PC, smartphone
*Excluding direct referrals

External websites accounted for 40.7% and display ads accounted for 36.8%, indicating that these two sources account for over 70% of the total. The strategy seems to be to increase awareness mainly through web advertising.

Changes in traffic sources of BYD’s Dolphin web page
Period: September 2023 - October 2023
Devices: PC, smartphone
*Excluding direct referrals

Looking at the trends in traffic sources in September and October 2023, we see a significant increase in both external websites and displays in October. Sales have started, and exposure on external websites has increased due to attention, and in addition, web advertisements have been launched.

They are currently at the stage where awareness is increasing, having just started sales. Therefore, it is expected that organic searches will increase in the future.

Tendency to compare with Nissan Sakura and Mitsubishi ek Cross EV, cars in the same price range

Lastly, let's take a look at what kind of EVs people were comparing with BYD’s Dolphin in October 2023.

Cars considered for comparison are the Nissan Sakura and Mitsubishi ek Cross EV, which are in the same price range, and the Hyundai IONIQ5 and Nissan Leaf, which are similar in size and functionality.

Combined use of the BYD Dolphin, Nissan Sakura, Mitsubishi ek Cross EV, Hyundai IONIQ5 and Nissan Leaf websites
Period: October 2023
Devices: PC, smartphone

No combined use is the most common, but it can be seen that a number of people are comparing with Nissan Sakura at 5.9% and Mitsubishi ek Cross EV at 6.4%. Both are light vehicles and differ in size and functionality from the normal-sized car Dolphin.

The Hyundai IONIQ5, which has a similar size, is 1%, and the Nissan Leaf is 2.1%, so it doesn't seem to be compared with the BYD Dolphin so much. It may be difficult to compare the more expensive Hyundai IONIQ5, which starts at 4.70 million yen, with the BYD Dolphin that is priced at 4.08 million yen to 3.63 million yen.

The BYD Dolphin seems to be compared based on price rather than size or functionality.

Summary

We investigated the initial reaction from visitors to BYD's compact EV Dolphin’s website and what kind of people are interested in it.

People in their 50s and older seem to be interested, and compared to its predecessor, the ATTO3, there also seems to be a lot of interest from people with annual household incomes less than 4 million yen.

The main traffic source is external websites and display advertisements, but it is possible that the number of organic searches will increase as the company becomes more well-known in the future.

It seems that it has been compared with the Nissan Sakura and Mitsubishi eK Cross EV, both of which have similar prices, by a number of people and considering that the BYD Dolphin has just been released, it is quite possible that it will be considered for their potential choice for a compact EV in the future.

BYD plans to start selling its sedan the SEAL in the spring of 2024, and SUVs and minivans were also unveiled at the Japan Mobility Show 2023 held at the end of October. BYD is definitely worth keeping an eye on to see what kind of cars they launch in the market in the future.

About Dockpit

▼Data from Dockpit was used in this case study. Dockpit is an online behavior analytics tool provided by VALUES, Inc., and it allows you to access online behavioral data (updated monthly) via your browser so you can research competitor websites and investigate trends. There is a FREE version of Dockpit, so if you are interested in using it, please register below.

dockpit Get free version

※日本語での記事はこちらをご確認ください

BYDのコンパクトEV「ドルフィン」。初速の反応や関心層は?

https://manamina.valuesccg.com/articles/2951

EV業界でトップを走るテスラに続いて日本に参入した、EVメーカーのBYD(比亜迪)。2023年9月20日に日本市場向けEVの第二弾としてコンパクトEVの「ドルフィン」を発売しました。車体価格は363万円と、一般的に高額なEVの中では手頃な価格帯でありながら高い機能性が注目されています。 今回は、BYD「ドルフィン」Webページの訪問者の調査を行い、初速の反応やどのような人が関心を持っているか調査していきます。

この記事のライター

Born and raised in the Bay Area, U.S.A, I was fascinated by the different social and purchasing behaviors between Japanese and American consumers. I studied communication for undergrad and international marketing for my graduate studies. My professional background is in bilingual recruitment and Japanese-English translation.

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