On Monday, BYD announced that it made over 3 million new energy vehicles in 2023. This positions the Chinese electric car company to outpace Tesla’s production for the second consecutive year. Tesla, the U.S. electric car company, hasn’t disclosed its full-year production numbers as of Tuesday in Asia.
However, they stated that they manufactured 1.35 million cars in the first three quarters of 2023. In the previous year, 2022, Tesla produced 1.37 million vehicles, which is fewer than BYD’s 1.88 million. New energy vehicles here refer to cars powered by batteries or a combination of battery and traditional fuel.
Most of BYD’s cars are priced lower than Tesla’s, and they also offer hybrid versions. Tesla, led by Elon Musk, exclusively sells cars powered only by batteries. China contributed to about 20% of Tesla’s sales in the quarter ending on September 30.
Even though BYD exceeded the 3 million mark in production, its annual sales fell slightly short of CLSA’s expectations of 3.05 million vehicles.
BYD reported selling 3.02 million new energy vehicles in 2023, with 1.6 million being solely battery-powered passenger cars and 1.4 million being hybrids. The company stopped making cars that run solely on gasoline or diesel in March 2022.
Competition Heats Up
Many companies aiming to tap into China’s rapidly growing electric car market have introduced numerous new models. Xiaomi, a Chinese smartphone maker, recently outlined its plans to launch an electric vehicle (EV) to compete with Porsche and Tesla.
Li Auto, experiencing a surge in monthly deliveries to record highs, announced on Sunday that it would introduce its first fully battery-powered vehicle, MEGA, on March 1, with deliveries starting later in that month. This is slightly delayed from the initial expectations for late February deliveries.
The startup has found success with cars equipped with a fuel tank to charge the battery and extend the driving range. In December, Li Auto reported delivering over 50,000 cars, bringing the total to 376,030 cars in 2023, a remarkable 182% increase compared to the previous year.
On Monday, Xpeng introduced its X9 MPV, and deliveries are commencing right away.
The Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer reported a 17% year-on-year increase in its total electric car deliveries, reaching 141,601 cars in 2023. Notably, a record-breaking 20,115 vehicles were delivered in December.
Aito, the new energy vehicle brand from Huawei, announced on Monday that orders for its M9 SUV have exceeded 30,000 within the seven days since its launch. Mass deliveries of the M9 are scheduled to commence in late February.
Electric Vehicle Deliveries in 2023
In 2023, Aito reported delivering a total of 94,380 cars, with 24,468 delivered in December alone. In 2022, Aito stated that it had delivered over 75,000 cars since starting deliveries in March of that year.
Supported by Geely, Zeekr announced on Monday the commencement of deliveries for its newest model, the 007 electric sedan. Zeekr reported a 65% increase in overall deliveries in 2023, reaching a total of 118,685.
Although this figure is notable, it falls short of Nio’s performance. Nio declared delivering 160,038 cars in 2023, marking an almost 31% year-on-year increase. The company reported delivering slightly over 18,000 cars in December.
Nezha, one of the numerous electric car brands in China, disclosed deliveries of 127,496 cars in 2023.
Aion, a spin-off from the state-owned GAC Motor, announced the sale of over 480,000 cars in 2023, marking a significant 77% increase compared to the previous year.
Various Chinese electric car companies, including Nio and BYD, are expanding their presence beyond China, particularly in Europe.
BYD’s sales outside of China in 2023 surpassed 242,000 new energy passenger vehicles, based on media company analysis of public data. Comparable figures for 2022 were not disclosed by the company.
In December, the Chinese electric vehicle giant revealed its intentions to establish a new production facility in Hungary. BYD currently offers five models in Europe and has plans to introduce three additional models for the region in the coming 12 months.
Nomura’s China autos analyst Joel Ying and the team stated in a January 2 note, “While the Chinese market is among the early adopters transitioning into the era of electric vehicles (EVs), we believe that expanding overseas, such as establishing factories in international markets instead of solely exporting vehicles manufactured in China, is the only path for leading Chinese automakers to attain long-term success in the global market.”
The report stated, “Considering the existing bus factory in Hungary, we think BYD’s choice to establish its first EU PV (photovoltaic) factory in Hungary is a strategic move to reduce potential risks in the international market.”
In December, BYD reported selling 36,095 new energy passenger vehicles overseas, marking a more than threefold increase compared to the figures from the previous year.
The electric vehicle scene in 2023 saw BYD producing over 3 million new energy vehicles, outperforming Tesla for the second year. Despite this, BYD’s annual sales fell slightly short of expectations. Other Chinese electric car companies like Xiaomi, Li Auto, Xpeng, Aito, Zeekr, Nio, Nezha, and Aion also made notable achievements in deliveries, competition, and expanding internationally.