The company BYD was founded in 1995 in the Chinese city of Shenzhen, and was engaged in the production of batteries for mobile phones. At that time, the company staff was only 30 people. By the end of the 1990s, BYD management decided to expand. The choice of direction fell on the production of cars. Obtaining a license for the production of this product in China is quite difficult, so it was decided to buy Qinchuan Automobile Company (QAC), which already had such a license. The production capacity of QAC allowed to produce up to 200 thousand cars a year, and now this figure reaches 700 thousand.
The first car was released in 2004, under the name BYD Flyer. In fact, under this model was hidden Qinchuan QCJ7081 Flyer. BYD has changed only the engine of the car, taking it from the old Suzuki models. Perhaps, wanting to sell the first car in large quantities, the brand logo was partially copied from BMW. In addition to copying the emblems, BYD, like all other Chinese automakers, used the design of other brands. For example, BYD fought off Honda's (Manuals PDF page) claims for the F1 and F3 models.
The next step in the development of the company was the establishment of the production of hybrid cars, and after the decision on mutual cooperation with Daimler AG, BYD began to develop electric vehicles produced under the Denza brand. Unfortunately, such cooperation did not affect the quality of auto giant products, but it expanded the opportunities for the production and sale of electric vehicles.
By the way, BYD produses forklifts and electric buses also.