BYD outperforms Tesla for second year running

BYD, the Chinese EV company sold 3 million EVs in 2023, up by more than 50 per cent over last year

If you haven’t taken note of Chinese EV company BYD yet, this might be the news that finally piques your interest. The manufacturer has been taking the electric car landscape by storm and, has once again, proved doubters wrong by taking one step closer to becoming the world’s biggest EV seller.

According to detailed numbers released by BYD yesterday, the Guangdong-based company sold more than 3 million cars in 2023, putting it on track to surpass Tesla, the American electric car giant once synonymous with EVs, for the second year running.

BYD Seal
BYD Seal

BYD’s 2023 sales mean that it outperformed last year’s figures of selling 1.88 million EVs by almost 60 per cent. Last year, Tesla had produced 1.37 million EVs. While it had almost matched up to those numbers by the first quarter of 2023 already, if industry experts are to be believed, it doesn’t look like Tesla’s figures will match up to its Chinese rival.

> Review: BYD Seal, a premium EV sedan

Of the 3.02 million cars sold by the almost 30-year-old company which stopped production of gas and oil-driven cars in 2022, 1.6 million were battery-only passenger cars, while the rest were hybrids. BYD enjoyed a strong surge in December, most likely owing to the Christmas festivities and the onset of cold weather.

While Elon Musk-led Tesla has continued to perform strongly, industry analysts forecast that Tesla sold around 483,000 electric vehicles in the last three months of 2023 and 1.82 million for the year as a whole, the BBC reports.

Last January, Mr Musk said that Tesla had the potential to achieve 2 million deliveries in 2023 but had since warned that higher borrowing costs were putting pressure on demand for his company’s cars.

BYD Atto 3

With the recent boom in the Chinese EV market, it’s been said that the Western car industry was “caught napping”, with the rise of manufacturers such as Nio, Geely, and even the introduction of telecom giant Xiaomi in the market. BYD, whose name is the romanisation of the company’s Chinese name Biyadi (now known for the rather cheesy, Build Your Dreams), is led by the billionaire Wang Chuanfu, and has emerged as the biggest and the strongest of all.

> Review: BYD Atto 3, a quirky family SUV

We at have been quite impressed with BYD’s latest offerings, having positively reviewed the family SUV Atto 3, as well as the luxury sedan Seal. While BYD’s previous cars have been targeted at the lower end of the market with the Seal, if the company forayed into premium EVs it could hit “premium automakers hard”.


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