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Tesla Overtaken By BYD As World's Best Selling EV Maker

Tesla Dethroned By BYD As World’s Best Selling EV Maker

Elon Musk’s Tesla has been toppled as the world’s best-selling electric vehicle manufacturer after it was overtaken by China’s BYD.
Source: Yahoo Finance

Tesla delivered a record 484,507 cars in Q3 2023, a 20% rise on the same period a year earlier. However, it was beaten for the first time by BYD, which on New Year’s Day revealed deliveries of 526,409 for the same period.

Tesla has been the world’s biggest electric vehicle manufacturer since 2015 when sales of its high-powered cars overtook the Nissan Leaf.  However, China has since become the world’s biggest market for battery-powered cars and domestic giants such as BYD have invested heavily in producing affordable vehicles.

BYD, which has pledged to “demolish” Western incumbents, has recently expanded beyond China by selling cars in the UK and Europe. It is backed by Warren Buffett’s investment vehicle, Berkshire Hathaway.

The company had already overtaken Tesla in total sales, which include plug-in hybrid cars. Tesla’s delivery numbers last year were only slightly higher than market expectations of around 483,200 cars. In totality, the company sold 1.8m cars. 

This was up 38% on 2022, and more than BYD’s 1.6m, but fell short of Mr Musk’s target of 2m sales. Tesla has embarked on a price war to boost sales as rising interest rates increase financing costs and tighter rules around US subsidies threaten to make electric cars less affordable.

Last month, the company was forced to issue an update to millions of vehicles over safety concerns related to its Autopilot software. BYD, which stands for Build Your Dreams, has said entering the US is not under consideration.

However, it launched sales in the UK in March and last month announced plans to open its first European plant in Hungary. It comes despite the EU opening an investigation into what it called a “flood” of cheap Chinese electric cars boosted by state subsidies. The probe could result in higher tariffs for imports.

Tesla, whose shares almost doubled last year, remains the world’s most valuable carmaker.


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