BYD Grew EV Sales 2.5 Times Faster Than Tesla

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BYD posted another strong month of sales in March. The company delivered 206,089 electrified passenger vehicles in the month, almost doubling March 2022’s total.

Anindito Mukherjee/Bloomberg

Chinese electric vehicle maker, and
continues to post very impressive growth figures.
investors can be both a little concerned and a little encouraged by BYD’s numbers.

BYD (ticker: 1211. Hong Kong) delivered 206,089 electrified passenger vehicles in March, up about 98% from the 104,338 delivered in March 2022. The March 2023 figures include 102,670 all battery electric vehicles and 103,419 plug-in hybrid models.

For the first quarter of 2023, BYD delivered 264,647 all-electric vehicles, up about 85% from the same time last year. BYD delivered 283,270 plug-in hybrids in Q1, up just more than 100% compared with the first quarter of 2022.

The growth is impressive. Tesla delivered 422,875 all-electric vehicles in the first quarter, up about 36% year over year. Tesla still sells more battery powered EVs than BYD, but BYD sells more electrified vehicles overall.

BYD is narrowing the gap in all-electric vehicle sales. In the first quarter of 2022, Tesla delivered 310,048 all-electric vehicles, 2.2 times more than BYD. Tesla delivered 1.6 times more all-electric vehicles than BYD in the first quarter of 2023.

That tightening race could be a little concerning for investors. What’s more, BYD now has about twice as much market share in China as Tesla for battery-electric vehicles. (Tesla’s sales numbers are global, BYD sells most of its cars in China.)

BYD is proving to be a formidable competitor. Still, BYD sells lower priced EVs and Tesla is considered a luxury brand. A Tesla EV in China can cost double what a BYD EV sells for and the two don’t compete directly in all segments of the car market yet. Tesla is working on developing a lower priced EV. That will likely be on roads at some point in late 2024 or 2025.

In the first quarter, even though Tesla’s growth lagged behind BYD, Tesla’s Chinese sales likely grew faster than the overall Chinese market. That’s a positive in which Tesla investors can take solace.

In the first two months of the year, all electric passenger vehicle sales were up less than 10% from the same time last year, according to Citi analyst Jeff Chung. March industry data isn’t available yet. Tesla’s Chinese sales likely grew roughly 20% in the first quarter. March numbers for Tesla, which are reported by industry associations, aren’t available.

Overall, first quarter results for both companies look impressive. Both took EV market share in China during the first quarter and both sets of numbers show that EV demand is still growing in China.

And more EV demand in China, the world’s largest market for new cars and new EVs, is a positive for any company that makes cars powered by batteries.

Coming into Monday trading, BYD stock is up 19% year to date in overseas trading. Tesla stock is up about 68% so far in 2023.

BYD shares, however, are up about 2% over the past 12 months. Tesla shares are still down about 43% over the past 12 months. The
S&P 500
is down about 10% over the past 12 months. The
Nasdaq Composite
has declined about 16%.

Write to Al Root at [email protected]

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