In a significant shift in the electric vehicles (EV) market, BYD, a leading Chinese automaker known for its leading battery technology and expansive EV lineup, has claimed the title of the world's top EV maker, outpacing the previous leader, Tesla. Between October and December of 2023, BYD's sales reached an impressive 526,409 electric cars, surpassing Tesla's reported 484,000+ deliveries. This achievement marks the first time Tesla has been overtaken in global electric car sales since surpassing Nissan between 2015 and 2016.
Tesla and BYD: Annual Performance
Tesla maintained its overall lead for the entirety of 2023, delivering approximately 1.81 million vehicles, slightly above its target of 1.8 million. BYD sold 1,574,822 pure electric passenger vehicles. When including plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), BYD's sales in the fourth quarter jumped to 942,651, bringing their total to 3.01 million vehicles for 2023. This represents a significant 73% increase in BYD's electric vehicle sales from the 97,871 units sold in 2018.
BYD's Impressive Growth
BYD's growth trajectory is impressive, with the company recently celebrating the production of its six-millionth hybrid or electric vehicle. Notably, in 2021, the sales gap between BYD and Tesla was a considerable 615,000 vehicles. Furthermore, BYD is estimated to rank among the top 10 global car makers for 2023 and is now the leading car maker in China, having overtaken Volkswagen earlier in the year.
Incentives for Dealers and Market Expansion
BYD dealers in China are reportedly receiving up to 666 yuan (approximately A$140) for each vehicle delivered, irrespective of sales targets. This strategy underscores BYD's commitment to sales growth and market expansion.
BYD's Global Expansion and Model Diversity
Over the past 18 months, BYD has expanded into markets such as Australia and Europe, introducing a variety of models, ranging from US$20,000 electric city hatchbacks to high-end SUVs. This diversification strengthens their presence as a leading global EV player . In contrast, Tesla launched the Cybertruck in 2023 (in the US), along with an updated Tesla Model 3 sedan in various markets, including Australia and Europe.
Electric Vehicle Trends in Australia
On the international front, BYD reported 97,245 vehicle sales outside of China in the last quarter of 2023, a significant increase from earlier in the year. In Australia, Tesla reported 43,924 deliveries in the first 11 months of 2023, compared to BYD's 10,975. These figures underline the growing market for electric vehicles in Australia.
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