China’s BYD closer to taking Tesla's electric car top spot



Chinese company BYD has inched closer to surpassing Elon Musk’s Tesla as the world’s leading electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer. The company announced on Monday that it achieved a milestone by selling a record 526,000 battery-only vehicles in the final quarter of 2023, with a notable 70% surge in sales during December.

BYD, headquartered in Shenzhen, disclosed that it sold over 3 million “new energy vehicles” (NEVs) throughout the entire year, encompassing battery-only EVs and hybrids. Of this total, nearly 1.6 million were battery-only vehicles. In comparison, industry analysts estimate that Tesla sold approximately 483,000 electric vehicles in the last quarter of 2023 and 1.82 million for the entire year.

While Elon Musk had initially expressed confidence in achieving 2 million deliveries in 2023, he later cited increased borrowing costs as a factor affecting demand for Tesla cars. Meanwhile, BYD’s success is attributed to its core business in batteries, a critical and costly component of EVs. Unlike many competitors relying on third-party battery manufacturers, BYD’s in-house production strategy has proven cost-effective.

Founded in 1995 by CEO Wang Chuanfu and his cousin in Shenzhen, BYD gained recognition for manufacturing rechargeable batteries used in various electronics. The company went public in 2002 and expanded its portfolio by acquiring the struggling state-owned car manufacturer Qinchuan Automobile Company. Since 2008, BYD has had the support of veteran US investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway as a shareholder.