Clearly caught up in deliveries: is BYD now dangerous to its competitor Tesla?

• Tesla is a pioneer in the e-car industry
• BYD increases in deliveries
• Warning signal for Tesla?

Tesla is driving the e-car hype – and is facing increasing competition

For a long time, Elon Musk’s e-car maker Tesla was considered the top dog in the field of electrically powered vehicles. As early as 2008, the group, then still under the management of Ze’ev Drori, brought its first electric car onto the market with the Roadster. The group thus triggered a hype about electromobility, which also bore fruit among numerous other manufacturers. In the meantime, both traditional car manufacturers such as Volkswagen, BMW and Mercedes-Benz are more strongly positioned in the e-sector, but there is also no shortage of young companies.

BYD increases delivery figures

Tesla also faces competition from China in particular. In addition to the e-car startups NIO and Geely, the conglomerate BYD in particular could pose a threat to the US company. While the Chinese stock company, whose name is the acronym for “Build Your Dreams”, was able to deliver around 320,810 electric cars in 2021, sales in 2022 by November amounted to 807,541 units – not including hybrid vehicles.

Tesla is heading for a new annual record

Although BYD’s deliveries in September were still at a similar level to those of its competitor Tesla, which only publishes its figures quarterly and not monthly, the Musk Group was already at 908,573 deliveries at the end of the third quarter of 2022 and came to around 1.31 million vehicles sold in the year as a whole. The company has thus achieved a new annual record, after 936,172 vehicles rolled off the production lines for the first time in 2021.

Tesla’s competitor problems are coming to a head

And even if the e-car pioneer was probably able to close 2022 better than its Chinese competitor, the increase in BYD’s delivery figures should be understood as a clear signal that the competitive situation at Tesla is getting worse. It was not until October that the US group lowered the prices for its vehicles in China in order to be able to assert itself against local rivals. In addition, there are repeated reports of production cuts in the Gigafactory Shanghai.

The People’s Republic is considered crucial for the status of the industry, as it is the world’s largest market for electric cars.

BYD soon at the top of the electric car industry?

E-car expert Michael Dunne analyzes the industry with his analysis company ZoZoGo, which specializes in electric mobility in China, Europe and the USA. The strategist explained to “Business Insider” that BYD had what it takes to dethrone Tesla and become the market leader for electric cars itself. The company is helped by its commitment to battery production.

The company has a history of more than 20 years and since it was founded in 1995, it has manufactured a wide range of products in addition to cars, including electric buses, trucks and forklifts. Gasoline-powered cars were added to the portfolio in 2003, but sales of combustion engines were discontinued in 2022. At the same time, BYD has significantly increased its e-car business.

Comparison between BYD and Tesla is difficult

Despite Dunne’s optimistic assessment of BYD’s market position, it’s difficult to compare the up-and-coming China competitor to Tesla, the analyst said. “It’s like asking, ‘Will Toyota overtake Mercedes in overall sales?’ Yes, because Toyota has a full spectrum of vehicles ranging from $20,000 to $80,000,” continued Dunne. “And of course, the lower the price point, the bigger the market.”

BYD scores with a wide range of products

According to Dunne, BYD has a decisive advantage over Tesla: the wide range of products. While Tesla is still considered a luxury brand, despite being the head of the company Elon Musk has promised a cheap entry-level model for years, BYD has positioned itself in various price segments. It was not until November 2022 that the Chinese conglomerate announced that it wanted to push the new Yangwang brand in the high-end sector. BYD could thus address Tesla’s target group. According to Dunne, the aim is also to shed the image of a manufacturer of rather cheap vehicles.

BYD is considered one of the favorite positions of Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and his longtime confidante Charlie Munger. In 2022, however, Buffett parted with some papers in the Chinese e-car hope for the first time since he joined the company in 2008.

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