As we navigate the final half of the last month of 2023, there’s a genuine chance that Chinese automaker Build Your Dreams (BYD) will take the crown from Tesla as the leader in global BEV market share. A global technology research firm thinks so based on BYD’s continued growth that led to it catching Tesla in Q3.
Today’s news is more of an affirmation than anything, as BYD’s global market share has been trending upward for well over a year, and as the current leader, Tesla has long had a target on its back.
BYD Auto is the automotive subsidiary of BYD Company, founded two decades ago to develop and produce passenger cars, buses, trucks, and forklifts for China. More recently, it shifted its manufacturing focus to BEVs and plug-in hybrid EVs, making its final combustion vehicle in March of 2022 while striving to become a globally recognized all-electric brand.
If you count PHEV sales, BYD already overtook Tesla in global market share in 2022 – but this is Electrek, so it’s BEVs or bust. Still, analysts were already predicting BYD taking the sales crown in 2023 as far back as January, long before we saw any quarterly numbers.
Since then, we’ve seen BYD deliver a handful of new BEV models designed to compete against… you guessed it, Tesla. Meanwhile, Tesla’s Model Y remains the best-selling BEV on the planet, and the American automaker was recently able to stumble over the finish line in delivering Cybertrucks to customers.
Each month, we’ve seen record sales from BYD leading up to its best quarter ever in Q3. Now, the usurping of Tesla for the global BEV sales crown feels imminent, and there’s data to back it up.
Tesla will likely lose market share lead to BYD this quarter
Nothing will be official until we see the Q4 BEV sales numbers for 2023, but trends leading up to this point tell us that BYD is poised to become the global market share leader if it hasn’t already. By the end of Q3 2023, BYD had caught up with Tesla, holding 17% of all global BEV sales – 68% YoY growth, according to tech research firm Counterpoint.
Tesla continues to grow as well but at a slower rate. It maintained 17% of the global market YoY but only saw 27% growth. Both automakers are impressive in their own right, as BYD leads a Chinese BEV market that holds 58% of the global share, while Tesla remains the clear leader in a much smaller US market that only controls about 12% of BEV sales. According to Counterpoint Research, the top five best-selling BEV models worldwide are donning a badge from Tesla or BYD.
Germany, the world’s third largest BEV market behind China and the US, also saw 60% YoY growth in Q3, led by Volkswagen Group, which recently admitted it is “no longer competitive” and is cutting jobs to try and keep up with Tesla. In 2022, Bloomberg predicted VW Group would overtake Tesla in 2024 – boy, were they mistaken.
Many US automakers not named Tesla are dialing back their EV production efforts entering 2024, leaving the opportunity for a more significant gap between BYD, Tesla, and the rest of the OEMs. Tesla is leveling out a bit as it’s no longer the only viable BEV brand. Still, BYD appears to be accelerating and has plenty of infrastructure to wield as it expands further into Europe, Southeast Asia, and even North America, Tesla’s home turf.
When fiscal year 2024 reports come out, it likely won’t be a matter of “if” BYD overtakes Tesla in BEV market share, but rather, “by how much.” All eyes are on next year.
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