BYD hands the title of top EV seller back to Tesla after a first-quarter sales decline

BYD sold 626,263 units of all vehicle types in the first quarter, up 13.4 percent from a year earlier

BYD, China’s largest electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, reported that sales fell 43 percent in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the fourth quarter of 2023, giving Tesla back the title of the world’s largest EV seller after the victory last year.

BYD sold 300,114 electric vehicles in the first quarter of this year, the company said late on Monday in a filing with the Shenzhen Stock Exchange, compared with a record quarter of 526,409 units sold in the previous three-month period, when it surpassed Tesla. BYD’s revenue in the first quarter was 13.4 percent higher than a year ago.

But BYD’s quarterly decline means Tesla has taken back the sales title based on 386,810 deliveries for Tesla in the first quarter, down 20.2 percent from the previous quarter and 8.5 percent from a year ago.

Tesla’s downturn comes amid weaker overall demand and a slowdown in the Chinese market, where local rivals led by BYD have upped the ante in a price war for buyers. Tesla sold 89,064 Chinese-made cars in March, up 0.2 percent from a year earlier, data from the China Passenger Car Association showed on Tuesday.

However, Tesla’s taking back the sales crown illustrates that its global influence will not be easily challenged, especially as both companies expect a slowdown in Chinese electric vehicle sales growth this year. It also shows that BYD’s short-lived dominance was the result of domestic price cuts.

BYD sold 626,263 units of all vehicle types in the first quarter, up 13.4 percent from a year earlier, but down 33.7 percent from a record quarterly high of 944,779 in the fourth quarter, the report showed. scholarship application.

March sales totaled 302,459 vehicles, an increase of 46 percent from a year earlier and the second-highest number of monthly sales. BYD reported a monthly record of 341,043 units in December.

Sales of its pure electric models reached 139,902 in March, up 36.3 percent year-on-year, while plug-in hybrid sales rose 56.4 percent to 161,729 units.

Since February, BYD has responded to the price war that Tesla started in China early last year by cutting prices for the latest versions of its range by 5 to 20 percent compared to previous versions.

Last week, BYD set a sales target of 3.6 million units for 2024, a 20 percent increase from last year’s record sales, Reuters reported citing sources.

First print: April 3, 2024 | 12:07 pm IST