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BYD Surpasses Tesla in Electric Vehicle Sales in Q4 2023

BYD’s Remarkable Sales Performance
In a significant development in the electric vehicle (EV) market, Chinese company BYD surpassed Elon Musk’s Tesla in electric vehicle sales in the concluding quarter of 2023. According to a recent announcement, BYD sold an impressive 526,000 battery-only vehicles in Q4, marking a notable milestone in the company’s history.

Tesla’s Performance in Comparison
While BYD made headlines with its sales figures, Tesla also reported robust sales, delivering a record 484,500 electric vehicles in the same quarter. Throughout 2023, Tesla maintained its leading position, selling a total of 1.8 million electric vehicles . Analysts noted that Tesla’s performance in the final quarter exceeded expectations, with sales surging by 20% compared to the same period in 2022. Dan Ives of Wedbush Securities even described the quarter as a “clear win” for Tesla.

Challenges and Expectations
Despite its strong performance, Tesla’s sales for the year fell short of Elon Musk’s ambitious projection of achieving two million deliveries in 2023. To stimulate demand, Tesla implemented price reductions multiple times throughout the year.

In contrast, BYD’s achievement underscores the competitive landscape of the EV market. Susannah Streeter, Head of Money and Markets at Hargreaves Lansdown, commented, “As BYD has accelerated into the fast lane, it’s fresh evidence of just how competitive the EV market has become and how hard it will be for Tesla to swerve back to head the pack.

BYD’s Growth Trajectory
Based in Shenzhen, BYD has emerged as a dominant player in the EV industry, selling over 3 million new energy vehicles (NEVs) in 2023, which includes both battery-only vehicles and hybrids. A significant portion of BYD’s sales, approximately 1.6 million, comprised battery-only vehicles .

Founded in 1995 by Wang Chuanfu and his cousin, BYD initially gained recognition as a manufacturer of rechargeable batteries for various electronic devices. The company expanded its operations by acquiring Qinchuan Automobile Company, a struggling state-owned car manufacturer, and subsequently went public in 2002. Since 2008, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has been a notable shareholder in BYD .

Strategic Advantage: In-house Battery Production
One of the key factors contributing to BYD’s success is its in-house production of batteries, which are integral and costly components of EVs. Unlike many competitors who rely on third-party manufacturers for batteries, BYD’s vertically integrated approach allows it to maintain cost efficiency. This strategic advantage enabled BYD to implement significant price cuts at the end of 2023, resulting in a substantial sales increase of 70% in December alone .

The fierce competition between BYD and Tesla highlights the dynamic nature of the EV market. While Tesla continues to be a dominant force, BYD’s recent achievements signify its growing influence and strategic positioning in the industry.

by Paul Britton

Full-time CBG author covering everything from business to wellbeing news, in Cyprus. and abroad.


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