February 21, 2024

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BYD: The Chinese automaker is close to overtaking Tesla as the world's largest electric vehicle seller

BYD: The Chinese automaker is close to overtaking Tesla as the world's largest electric vehicle seller

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Hong Kong

China's BYD sold a record number of cars in 2023, moving it closer to displacing Tesla as the global market leader for electric vehicles.

The Chinese company recorded a 62% increase in global sales to just over Three million units last year, compared to 2022, according to A Stock exchange deposit.

BYD sold 1.57 million battery electric vehicles last year, an increase of 73%, as well as 1.44 million hybrid vehicles. 52% higher than the previous year.

Tesla (TSLA) is scheduled to reveal its full-year sales numbers early Tuesday. Analysts expect the US electric car maker to have nearly met its annual delivery target of 1.8 million battery electric vehicles. They do not sell hybrids.

In 2022, BYD trailed Tesla in global battery electric vehicle sales by about 400,000 units. The gap is expected to narrow in the past year. And in the last quarter, BYD may have already surpassed Elon Musk's company.

In the fourth quarter, BYD sold 526,409 battery-powered vehicles, an increase of more than 20% from the third quarter. Tesla It is likely to have been delivered 473,000 units in the same quarter, according to a poll of 14 analysts Quoted from Reuters.

BYD's rapid growth, backed by Warren Buffett, is a symbol of China's rising electric vehicle industry.

China is advancing rapidly Its transition to electric cars, thanks to strong government support for the industry.

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Beijing has set a goal that at least 20% of new cars sold annually by 2025 must be new energy vehicles (NEVs), which includes battery electric vehicles, hybrids, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. By 2035, The government saysNew energy vehicles should become the “mainstream” of new car sales.

The first goal was achieved in 2022, about three years ago. The second could also be reached earlier than expected.

In the first 11 months of 2023, 8.3 million units of new energy vehicles were sold, accounting for more than 30% of total vehicle sales, according to data released last month by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

Miao Wei, former Minister of the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of China, He said at an automotive forum in November The government's goal of 50% new energy vehicle penetration by 2035 is likely to be achieved by 2025 or 2026 at the latest, according to state media.

China's leading role in global industry is also due to its market size, cheap labor and its dominance of the supply chain, according to analysts.

“China now leads in production and increases its relative advantage, benefiting from its huge domestic market and first-mover advantage,” analysts from French investment bank Natixis Asia wrote in a report issued in late November.

They said first-mover advantage and government support through infrastructure investment and subsidies have made it easier for Chinese electric vehicle makers to expand domestically and internationally.

However, intensifying competition and a fierce price war last year affected the profit margins of many automakers.

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SHANGHAI, CHINA - MARCH 29: An aerial view of the Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory on March 29, 2021 in Shanghai, China.  The Tesla Shanghai Gigafactory is said to be producing cars at a rate of about 450,000 per year.  (Photo by Xiaolu Zhu/Getty Images)

As China's economy loses momentum, automakers have been concerned about slowing demand. In January, Tesla cut prices in China to attract customers and stop slowing growth, sparking a price war. Dozens of automakers followed suit to remain competitive.

The price war drove up sales, but threatened industry-wide profitability. In the first 11 months of last year, China's auto industry posted a profit margin of just 5%, down from 5.7% in 2022 and 6.1% in 2021, according to figures published last week by the China Passenger Car Association, an industry group backed by From the government. .

To offset the slowdown in the domestic market, Chinese automakers are seeking to grow beyond the mainland by expanding into Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.

Last month, BYD announced that it will build an electric vehicle factory in Hungary, which will be the first passenger car factory in Europe. He. She It already has a bus factory in Komarom, Hungary.