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Strong Q4 Sales Help BYD Set Up a Challenge for Tesla

BYD, a Chinese automaker, sold 526,409 fully electric vehicles in the fourth quarter, implying that Tesla will need to set a new record to preserve its lead when sales data are released on Tuesday.


When Chinese automaker BYD releases its fourth-quarter sales data on Tuesday, it will need to beat the previous record of 526,409 totally electric vehicles sold by Tesla to stay atop the sales charts.

According to an exchange filing on Monday, China's top-selling automaker recorded EV and hybrid sales of 340,178 in December, including 190,754 all-electric vehicles. This success was attributed to aggressive end-of-year pricing. In 2023, BYD sold 3.01 million units overall.

When it comes to becoming the world's largest seller of completely electric vehicles, BYD should know in a matter of days if it has sold enough vehicles to surpass Tesla on a quarterly basis. Bloomberg's projections show that analysts following Elon Musk's Tesla anticipate sales of around 483,200 units.

Tesla's 1.8 million unit sales goal for the whole year may receive a late lift from the redesigned Model 3 and the stainless steel-clad Cybertruck, which started delivery at the end of November. Additionally, the US manufacturer has been progressively changing sticker prices in China, where it started a pricing battle in late 2022 that lasted into 2023, and in the US.

BYD sold nearly as many EVs and hybrids throughout the course of the preceding five years as it did during the whole year. With a 3 million yearly sales objective, the Shenzhen-based firm saw such quick development in 2023 that it shot into the top 10 worldwide automobile sales rankings for the first time.

In 2023, the price of BYD shares plummeted by over 24%. The stock had been declining more quickly since mid-November due to price reductions, competition pressure, and worries that it wouldn't be able to reach sales objectives. Tesla shares increased 130% last year despite igniting a pricing war in the sector in China.

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