China’s BYD overtakes Tesla as world’s largest maker of pure-electric vehicles on fourth-quarter EV sales surge

According to a news article, BYD produced more than 3 million new energy vehicles in 2023, surpassing Tesla’s production for a second straight year. However, Tesla produced 1.84 million cars in 2023. It is worth noting that BYD produces both hybrid and full battery-powered cars, while Tesla only sells purely battery-powered cars. Therefore, Tesla is still on top for battery-only production.

Most of BYD’s cars sell in a lower price range than Tesla’s, and come in hybrid versions2. China accounted for about one-fifth of Tesla’s sales in the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Even though it surpassed the 3 million mark, BYD’s annual sales slightly missed CLSA’s expectations for 3.05 million vehicles.

BYD said it sold 3.02 million new energy vehicles in 2023. The company stopped producing purely gasoline and diesel-powered cars in March 2022.

It is true that several Chinese electric car manufacturers, including Nio and BYD, are expanding their presence in markets outside China, particularly in Europe1. According to CNBC’s calculations of public data, BYD’s overseas sales in 2023 exceeded 242,000 new energy passenger vehicles. However, the company did not disclose comparable figures for 2022.

In December 2023, BYD announced plans to build a new production center in Hungary1. The company currently sells five models in Europe and plans to launch three more for the region in the next 12 months.

BYD said it sold 36,095 new energy passenger vehicles overseas in December, more than triple the year-ago figure.

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