Tesla has long dominated global sales of electric cars, however, Warren Buffett-backed BYD of China is quickly gaining on Elon Musk’s empire.
BYD which literally stands for Build Your Dreams started selling gasoline cars back in 2003 before expanding into hybrids and all-electric vehicles. The company also holds the honor to launch the world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid vehicle in 2008.
Earlier this year, BYD officially said goodbye to combustion-engine cars and has grown its EV business at an explosive pace. In 2021, BYD shipped some 320,000 pure electric vehicles (not including plug-in hybrid vehicles). But in the first 11 months of 2022, the company has more than doubled its last year’s numbers, shipping out roughly 800,000 EVs.
BYD’s epic rise comes amid signs that Tesla is losing steam in China, the world’s biggest market for electric cars. In October, Tesla offered huge discounts for its cars in China, whereas this week, Bloomberg reported that Tesla is slowing production at its Shanghai factory, potentially signaling decreased demand for its vehicles.
According to analysts, BYD which is also one of the world’s leading battery manufacturers has a few advantages that will propel it to market dominance by 2025. While Tesla is solidly a luxury brand — its cars go for around $50,000 and up — BYD sells vehicles under multiple brands and at several price points. BYD has been in business since 1995, and in addition to cars, it also makes electric buses, trucks, and forklifts.
And the Chinese automaker is expanding into Tesla’s turf in more ways than just one. In November, the company announced plans to launch a new high-end EV brand, that will solidify its presence in the premium end of the market. This is part of an effort to shed its identity as a maker of affordable cars and become a more aspirational brand in China.
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BYD is also expanding its reach far beyond its home country. The automaker has recently started selling cars in Europe and is quickly making expansions in 360 degrees having already started its sales activities in RHD markets such as Australia, India, Malaysia & Thailand, as well as Latin America and is set to tap Mexico and Japan in 2023.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com