China’s BYD overtakes Tesla in EV sales

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Tesla, a prominent manufacturer, has seen its dominating position challenged as China’s BYD has now taken the lead in terms of electric vehicle (EV) sales volume, nearing the 200,000 monthly mark.

Competition is intensifying, and dominant players are at risk of losing market share, a market study has shown.

In particular, data acquired by Finbold indicates that in the first half of 2023, BYD sold 1,191,405 electric vehicles, representing an average of 198,567 units per month.

BYD’s unit sales surpassed Tesla’s 888,879 by 302,526 vehicles. Over the initial six months of 2023, the American EV maker averaged 148,146 vehicle sales per month. The units include battery electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid EVs.

Other top sellers include BMW with 220,795 units, followed by GAC Aion at 212,090 EVs, while Volkswagen sold 209,852. SGMW, Mercedes, and Li Auto sold 191,767, 165,213, and 139,874 units, respectively.

Notably, among the top eight EV sellers, only manufacturers from China, Germany, and the United States are represented. China accounts for four manufacturers or 50% of the list.

BYD’s affordable vehicles 

The Finbold research explored some of the fundamental drivers behind BYD’s sales that saw the company eclipse Tesla.

“One noteworthy aspect of BYD’s appeal has been its commitment to offering value for money, coinciding with local demand for homemade affordable products amid a slowing Chinese economy,” the study found.

“The company’s vehicle models are priced lower than their foreign competitors. BYD’s manufacturing of most components further contributes to cost reduction, and any components it doesn’t produce are readily available from Chinese suppliers.”

The competition between BYD and Tesla is likely to grow as the Chinese manufacturer moves to expand its position globally. In this regard, Tesla has the upper hand, considering that the firm already has a global clientele.