Best of AP — Honorable Mention


AP reveals how a small Chinese electric vehicle is threatening to upend the US auto industry

Sales staff stand near the Seagull electric vehicle from Chinese automaker BYD at a showroom in Beijing, Wednesday, April 10, 2024. The tiny, low-priced electric vehicle called the Seagull has American automakers and politicians trembling. The car, launched last year by Chinese automaker BYD, sells for around $12,000 in China. But it drives well and is put together with craftsmanship that rivals U.S.-made electric vehicles that cost three times as much. Tariffs on imported Chinese vehicles probably will keep the Seagull away from America’s shores for now. AP PHOTO / NG HAN GUAN

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Tom Krishner, Ken Moritsugu and Mike Householder teamed up for a fascinating look at a tiny, low-priced Chinese EV called the Seagull that has the potential to upend the U.S. auto industry.

A strong global collaboration highlighted reporters’ expertise on electric vehicles, told readers something they didn’t now and was ideally timed ahead of the Biden administration’s announcement that it was imposing 102% tariffs on Chinese EVs.

Detroit-based auto writer Tom Krishner was listening to a routine analyst conference in February when the CEO of Ford said the company had retooled its electric vehicle plan because of a small car called the Seagull.  He wrote something short and made a note to revisit the story.

He later collaborated with Greater China correspondent Ken Moritsgu and Detroit video journalist Mike Householder to examine how Chinese automaker BYD was able to produce the Seagull so cheaply. A U.S. EVA company that had shipped one from China to the U.S. walked Krishner and Householder through the process, while Moritsugu provided key context on BYD and its strategy in Europe and Latin America. They rushed to get the story out ahead of the announcement on tariffs, giving it an even stronger news peg.

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