BYD just set a new sales record as aggressive price cuts take effect, is it enough to top Tesla?

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BYD just set a new sales record as aggressive price cuts take effect, is it enough to top Tesla?


China’s leading EV maker, BYD, set a new monthly NEV sales record as it battles for market share in an increasingly competitive market. The growth after BYD slashed prices on some of its top-selling electric vehicles. Will it be enough to top Tesla in the second quarter?

BYD sold 341,658 new energy vehicles (NEVs) last month, its highest monthly total ever. After NEV sales surged 35% from last year, BYD surpassed its previous 341,043 NEVs sold in December 2023.

Of them, 145,179 were all-electric, up 13% from the 128,196 sold last June. However, it wasn’t enough to top the 146,395 sold in May.

BYD sold 726,153 fully electric vehicles in the first half of 2024, up 18% from the 616,810 EVs sold in the first half of 2023.

The other 195,032 vehicles sold last month were plug-in hybrids, up 58% YOY. BYD’s PHEV sales have hit a new record for the past four months now.

BYD also sold 26,995 vehicles overseas as it expands into new markets to boost growth. Meanwhile, the BYD’s biggest growth driver is being driven by fierce price cuts.

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BYD Dolphin Mini (Seagull) launch in Brazil (Source: BYD)

BYD tops monthly sales record amid China’s EV price war

BYD’s sales are picking up after starting a “liberation battle” earlier this year, targeting foreign gas-powered cars with lower prices.

BYD’s cheapest EV, the Seagull, starts at just $9,700 (69,800 yuan) in China. Overseas, it starts at around $20,000. Lower-priced versions of its top-selling Atto 3, Dolphin, and Seal EVs are also hitting the market.

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BYD SEAL (Source: BYD)

The new models are rolling out in overseas markets like Japan and South Korea as BYD looks to rival Toyota and Hyundai in their domestic markets.

BYD launched its third EV in Japan last week, the Seal EV, starting at ¥5.28 million, or around $33,100.

The Seal, BYD’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, is expected to reach South Korea by the end of the year.

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BYD Yangwang U9 electric sports car (Source: BYD)

Although BYD is best known for its affordable EVs, the auto giant is expanding into new markets like luxury, mid-size SUVs, pickups and supercars. Its new Yangwang U9 electric supercar was spotted racing around the Nurburgring last week (see the video here). Starting at $233,400 (1,680,000 yuan), the +1,200 horsepower U9 is aimed at Ferrari and Lamborghini.

BYD also launched the Sea Lion 07 in May, its first “medium-sized urban smart electric SUV.” Starting at 189,800 yuan ($26,250), BYD’s new electric SUV undercuts Tesla’s top-selling Model Y, which starts at 249,900 yuan ($34,550) in China.

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BYD Sea Lion 07, the brand’s first “mid-sized urban smart electric SUV” (Source: BYD)

Meanwhile, BYD will deal with new tariffs in Europe on Chinese imports. Although some project it could impact sales, BYD makes more on some EVs sold in the EU than in China and may be able to absorb the extra duties.

Will BYD’s price cuts and new models be enough to top Tesla again? BYD sold 426,039 EVs in the second quarter of 2024, up 42% from Q1. Wall St is projecting Tesla will sell around 450,000, and China will be key to hitting its target.

Source: CnEVPost, BYD

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