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BYD Nears Tesla in Electric Vehicle Production

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BYD, the Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, continues to make strides towards surpassing Tesla as the largest producer of battery-electric vehicles worldwide. In November alone, BYD delivered over 301,000 passenger vehicles, marking a significant increase of about 31% compared to the same period last year. Notably, this total included over 170,000 all-battery electric vehicles (BEVs), which experienced a remarkable growth of nearly 50% year over year. Additionally, BYD delivered approximately 131,000 plug-in hybrid vehicles.

During the first two months of the fourth quarter, BYD delivered nearly 336,000 BEVs, demonstrating an impressive year-over-year growth of about 55%. Considering this rapid pace, BYD is well on track to deliver more than 500,000 BEVs in the fourth quarter, potentially surpassing Tesla’s anticipated delivery of about 475,000 vehicles. If this forecast holds true, it will mark the first time since Elon Musk’s Tesla entered the electric vehicle market that it has been outperformed by another EV manufacturer.

As of November, BYD has delivered almost 2.7 million vehicles in 2023, including nearly 1.4 million BEVs. However, despite BYD’s remarkable progress, Tesla is expected to maintain its leading position throughout the year. BYD’s projected deliveries for 2023 range between 1.6 million and 1.7 million BEVs, a considerable increase from the roughly 911,000 BEVs delivered in 2022. Comparatively, Tesla is projected to sell around 1.8 million vehicles—an improvement from the approximately 1.3 million vehicles sold in 2022.

Both companies are experiencing sales growth, but BYD’s surge emphasizes a gap in Tesla’s current product lineup. BYD’s success can be attributed, in part, to its offering of more affordable vehicles. Tesla, on the other hand, has yet to introduce comparable products. The Model 3 represents Tesla’s least expensive option, with a starting price of around $37,000 in China.

To maintain its market share, Tesla should endeavor to expand its product lineup. The company has plans to launch a lower-priced Tesla model that is expected to hit the streets in late 2024 or 2025.

In trading on Monday, BYD stock increased by 0.3% in overseas markets, while Tesla shares experienced a slight decrease of 0.1% in premarket trading. Meanwhile, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite futures were down 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively.

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