BYD closes in on Tesla with record 526,000 electric vehicle sales in Q4 2023

BYD, the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) giant, is edging closer to outpacing Tesla as the global leader in EV manufacturing. The company celebrated a milestone on Monday, revealing a record-breaking sale of 526,000 battery-only vehicles in Q4 2023, marked by a remarkable 70% surge in December.

Throughout the year, BYD, headquartered in Shenzhen, achieved sales exceeding 3 million “new energy vehicles” (NEVs), comprising both battery-only and hybrid models, with nearly 1.6 million being battery-only.

Meanwhile, Tesla, headquartered in the US, is expected to disclose its latest quarterly production and delivery figures on Tuesday. Analysts project Tesla’s Q4 2023 electric vehicle sales at approximately 483,000, contributing to an annual total of 1.82 million.

Last January, Mr. Musk, anticipated Tesla achieving 2 million deliveries in 2023 but later cautioned that rising borrowing costs were impacting demand for the company’s cars.

Established in 1995 by CEO Wang Chuanfu in Shenzhen, BYD initially gained prominence for rechargeable batteries, competing with pricier Japanese imports. Going public in 2002, BYD diversified by acquiring the struggling state-owned car manufacturer Qinchuan Automobile Company.

Since 2008, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, a veteran US investor, has been a major shareholder. Analysts attribute BYD’s success to its roots in battery manufacturing, providing a cost-saving advantage over competitors relying on third-party manufacturers for this crucial EV component.

Last month, BYD, has revealed plans to construct a new energy vehicle production base in Szeged, southern Hungary, creating numerous local jobs. The company, a major competitor to Tesla, already operates an electric bus assembly plant in Komarom, northwest Hungary.

Established in April 2016, the Komarom facility was BYD’s first European factory. With over 30 global industrial parks and production bases, including in the U.S., Brazil, Japan, and India, BYD continues to expand its international footprint.

Photo credit: BYD – BYD DOLPHIN C-segment Hatchback