- BYD outperformed Tesla in electric car sales during the fourth quarter of 2023.
- While BYD took the Q4 lead, Tesla maintained its annual leadership with 1.8 million electric car sales in 2023.
- China’s EV industry is thriving due to its large market, government support, and infrastructure investments, with a goal to make new energy vehicles (NEVs) 20% of annual car sales by 2025.
Chinese automaker Build Your Dreams (BYD), backed by renowned investor Warren Buffett, has reported a significant milestone, overtaking Tesla to become the world’s largest electric car manufacturer. In 2023, BYD achieved a remarkable milestone by selling an unprecedented number of vehicles, including 525,409 battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the final quarter of the year, showcasing the strength of BYD electric car sales.
Tesla Sales Outpaced BYD in YoY Growth
Tesla, helmed by CEO Elon Musk, also marked a fruitful year in 2023. Despite losing the top spot for EV sales to BYD in the fourth quarter, Tesla sales maintained a strong lead in annual totals. Tesla sales reported a whopping 1.8 million electric cars in 2023, surpassing BYD’s annual sales of 1.57 million electric vehicles (EVs).
Furthermore, Tesla’s Vehicle Production & Deliveries Results for the Fourth Quarter of 2023 revealed a production of approximately 495,000 vehicles and over 484,000 deliveries in the last quarter. Over the year, Tesla experienced a 38% YoY growth in deliveries, reaching 1.81 million, and a 35% YoY increase in production, accumulating a total of 1.85 million vehicles.
To boost year-end sales, Tesla sales incentives included six months of free, fast charging for customers who took deliveries by the end of December. This strategic move was made in anticipation of certain variants of the compact Model 3 sedan losing U.S. federal tax credits in 2024.
China Leads Global EV Industry
China’s ascendancy in the global EV industry is bolstered by its expansive market size, cost-effective labor, and dominance over the supply chain, as highlighted by industry analysts. The Beijing government has set ambitious targets for the EV sector: by 2025, new energy vehicles (NEVs) – which include BEVs, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles – will account for at least 20% of all new cars sold annually in China.
China benefits from both the first-mover advantage and robust government support through hefty investments in EV infrastructure and subsidies. These factors have significantly contributed to the growth of BYD electric car sales and have facilitated Chinese EV manufacturers both within the country and on the international stage.
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