BYD Co. came within a whisker of toppling Tesla Inc. as the world’s biggest seller of electric vehicles last quarter, as the Chinese automaker pushed into new markets and factory downtime led to Tesla’s first quarterly delivery decline in more than a year.
(Bloomberg) — BYD Co. came within a whisker of toppling Tesla Inc. as the world’s biggest seller of electric vehicles last quarter, as the Chinese automaker pushed into new markets and factory downtime led to Tesla’s first quarterly delivery decline in more than a year.
BYD sold 431,603 fully-electric vehicles in the three months ended Sept. 30, up 23% from the second quarter. Tesla shipped 435,059 cars globally in the quarter — with the 3,456 gap between the two the narrowest yet.
Including hybrids, Shenzhen-based BYD sold a total 822,094 vehicles for another record quarter, helping it cement its lead as China’s best-selling car brand.
Known for selling affordable cars to the masses, BYD has made progress in broadening its appeal. The company has added two luxury EV brands, Yangwang and Fang Cheng Bao, to penetrate the 1 million-yuan ($137,000) price category, more than double some of its earlier higher-end vehicles. It also pushed two cheaper models, the Seagull and Dolphin, to undercut its rivals.
Growing exports are also aiding the company, which also makes its own batteries and semiconductor chips, as it eyes a larger chunk of overseas sales to supplement its dominance in China.
Both BYD and Tesla, however, are under scrutiny from European officials, who have launched an investigation into Chinese subsidies for EVs, which they claim put European automakers at a disadvantage.
Tesla’s deliveries missed estimates by around 20,000 units as it prepared its factories to make a refreshed Model 3 sedan and the yet-to-be-released Cybertruck. Still, Elon Musk’s company affirmed its annual target to sell 1.8 million vehicles. BYD remains on track to sell around 3 million vehicles, including hybrids.
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