Devialet, the French specialist in high-end sound, will equip the electric cars of the Chinese giant BYD
The Parisian company has signed a major partnership with Tesla’s rival.
China definitely succeeded in Devialet. Four years after the start of its partnership with the local tech titan, Huawei, the French specialist in high-end sound revealed on Wednesday a major partnership with the car manufacturer BYD (Build Your Dreams). The tricolor will indeed lay off its sound technology for the models of the Shenzhen group. If the latter does not yet speak to the general French public, for lack of sales in Europe, BYD is already a giant on the local market. In 2022, the Chinese group sold no less than 910,000 electric cars, closely following Tesla, and 1.86 million including rechargeable hybrids. BYD also has strong global ambitions.
Devialet will certainly not integrate the passenger compartment of the entire range of the manufacturer from Shenzhen. The partnership currently concerns the Denza brand, formerly a joint venture owned equally by Daimler and BYD and now 90% controlled by the Asian company. A brand for which BYD still has everything to prove, after the failed launch of the first model and the departure of Mercedes from the capital. “This is only the beginning of our adventure, we aim to be present on all of BYD’s high-end brands”nevertheless explains to the Figaro Franck Lebouchard, CEO of Devialet. The Denza N7 electric SUV will be the first vehicle to integrate the group’s technology.
Born with sound amplifiers but having enjoyed mainstream success with its speakers “phantom“, then with its portable products, its mobile headphones or its sound bars, the Parisian company opens up new horizons with the automobile: “ For a player like us, a benchmark in the world of luxury audio, the automotive market is a tremendous opportunity. It’s a place where people obviously spend a lot of time. But it is also a sector with many barriers to entry.warns Franck Lebouchard.
The longest R&D project
Given the volumes involved, the sound giants are engaged in fierce competition to supply car manufacturers. Devialet, he preferred to play patience. The French flagship refined its technology for many years, before offering it to the Chinese. “We have been working on the car for seven years, when we had a partnership with Renault on the Symbioz concept car. This is our longest R&D project. We wanted to offer a unique experience”, indicates the leader. Bass quality, adaptation of sound to space and vehicle speed… BYD will benefit from the 250 patents filed by Devialet, which have made it famous.
China is becoming a veritable land of plenty for the tricolor company. The agreement with Huawei on smart speakers and then televisions had already installed the French brand in the general public. That with BYD, which is based on a license sale, could lead thanks to the notoriety of the car brand to more sales of speakers and other goods produced in its factories in France. Not insignificant, especially after the last few months marked by the health context on site. “It has been two difficult years, but China has resisted well and remains our second market after France (20% of turnover)“explains Franck Lebouchard. Beyond the Middle Kingdom, Devialet has seen its sales and points of sale triple over the past three years in Asia. Iconic French Tech start-up despite its absence from the Next 40 (due to the ranking criteria), the French company affirms to the Figaro to have completed its first year in 2022 with a positive operating result.