BYD produced more than 3 million new energy vehicles in 2023, outpacing Tesla for the second year in a row.
Tesla announced on Tuesday that it will produce 1.84 million vehicles in 2023. The majority of BYD’s vehicles are less expensive than Tesla’s and are available in hybrid and battery-only configurations.
While total production exceeded Tesla’s, BYD produced 1.6 million battery-only passenger cars and 1.4 million hybrids, putting Tesla first in battery-only production.
Elon Musk’s automaker only sells battery-powered vehicles. In the fiscal quarter ended Sept. 30, China accounted for roughly one-fifth of Tesla’s sales.
In Hong Kong trading Tuesday morning, BYD shares fell more than 2%.
Despite exceeding 3 million vehicles, BYD’s annual sales fell short of CLSA’s forecast of 3.05 million vehicles.
In 2023, BYD expects to sell 3.02 million new energy vehicles. In March 2022, the company will stop producing purely gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles.
The competition is heating up.
Companies seeking a piece of China’s rapidly expanding electric car market have flooded the market with new models. Xiaomi, the Chinese smartphone maker, revealed plans last week to launch an electric vehicle to compete with Porsche and Tesla.
According to an announcement made Sunday, Li Auto, whose monthly deliveries have reached all-time highs, plans to launch its first purely battery-powered vehicle, MEGA, on March 1 and begin deliveries later that month. This is slightly later than the initial forecast of late February deliveries.
So far, the startup has had success with cars that include a fuel tank to charge the battery and extend driving range. Li Auto said it delivered over 50,000 vehicles in December, for a total of 376,030 in 2023, an 182% increase year on year.
Xpeng launched its X9 MPV on Monday, with deliveries beginning immediately.
The Chinese EV manufacturer reported that total deliveries of electric vehicles increased 17% year on year to 141,601 in 2023, with a record 20,115 vehicles delivered in December.
Aito, Huawei’s new energy vehicle brand, announced Monday that orders for its M9 SUV had surpassed 30,000 in the seven days since its release. M9 mass deliveries will start in late February.
Aito stated that it will deliver 94,380 vehicles in 2023, including 24,468 in December alone. Aito stated that it has delivered over 75,000 cars in 2022 since beginning deliveries in March of that year.
Zeekr, backed by Geely, said it began delivering its latest model, the 007 electric sedan, on Monday. Zeekr reported a 65% increase in overall deliveries to 118,685 in 2023.
That total is still lower than Nio’s, which stated that it delivered 160,038 vehicles in 2023, an increase of nearly 31% year on year. In December, the company delivered just over 18,000 vehicles.
Nezha, one of China’s many electric car brands, reported 127,496 car deliveries in 2023.
Aion, a subsidiary of state-owned GAC Motor, reported a 77% increase in sales year on year in 2023.
Several Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers, including Nio and BYD, are expanding into markets outside of China, particularly Europe.
According to CNBC calculations based on public data, BYD’s overseas sales in 2023 will exceed 242,000 new energy passenger vehicles. The company did not provide comparable figures for 2022.
In December, the Chinese EV behemoth announced plans to build a new production facility in Hungary. According to the company, it currently sells five models in Europe and plans to launch three more in the region within the next year.
“While the China market is one of the pioneers entering into the era of EVs, we believe moving overseas (building factories in the overseas market rather than just shipping vehicles manufactured in China) is the only way for China’s leading carmakers to achieve success in the global market in the long run,” Joel Ying, an analyst with Nomura China automobiles, wrote in a note published on Jan. 2.
“Given the company already has a bus factory in Hungary, we believe the decision to build the first EU PV factory in Hungary will help BYD to minimize the potential risks in the overseas market,” according to the report.
BYD reported that it sold 36,095 new energy passenger vehicles overseas in December, more than tripling the previous year’s figure.