During the final three months of 2023, Chinese automaker BYD outsold Elon Musk’s Tesla in the electric vehicle market as the two companies vied for the industry’s top spot.
BYD reported a record-breaking sale of 526,000 battery-only vehicles during the fourth quarter of 2023 on Monday.
It was the first quarter that sales of batteries exclusively surpassed those of Tesla. Demand has slowed for the U.S.-based company as borrowing expenses have increased.
Nevertheless, throughout the entirety of 2023, Mr. Musk’s Tesla continued to generate higher sales.
Tesla announced on Tuesday that it shipped a record 484,500 electric vehicles during the final quarter of 2023 and 1.8 million for the entire year.
The year-end performance surpassed the expectations of analysts as sales increased by 20% compared to the corresponding period in 2022 and accelerated in the latter part of 2023. According to Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives, Tesla received a “clear win” in the quarter.
It, however, failed to live up to initial expectations. Elon Musk predicted in January of last year that Tesla could potentially ship two million vehicles by 2023.
The company implemented multiple price reductions in an effort to attract customers.
BYD’s Remarkable Growth
The achievement serves as a reminder of the obstacles that BYD, which was instrumental in establishing the electric vehicle industry, still confronts.
“BYD’s foray into the fast lane is further evidence of how competitive the EV market has become and how difficult it will be for Tesla to regain the lead,” said Susannah Streeter, Hargreaves Lansdown’s director of money and markets.
BYD, a company headquartered in Shenzhen, achieved annual sales exceeding 3 million new energy vehicles (NEVs), encompassing both battery-only models and hybrids.
The company reported that nearly 1.6 million of its total sales were battery-only vehicles.
Chief Executive Wang Chuanfu and his cousin established BYD in 1995 in Shenzhen.
As a manufacturer of rechargeable batteries utilised in smartphones, laptops, and other electronic devices, the company established a reputation that rivalled more expensive imports from Japan.
It began trading its shares on the stock market in 2002 and diversified by acquiring Qinchuan Automobile Company, a struggling state-owned automaker.
Veteran US investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has been a shareholder of BYD since 2008.
According to analysts, BYD’s expansion can be attributed to its core industry, which was batteries. They are among the most expensive components of an electric vehicle, and BYD saves a substantial amount of money by manufacturing them in-house.
A significant number of BYD’s rivals obtain their batteries from third-party manufacturers.
The battery division of BYD enabled the company to significantly reduce prices towards the conclusion of 2023, thereby stimulating sales, which increased by 70% in December exclusively.