No, Tesla has not (yet) been overtaken by a Chinese company

In recent days, many colleagues announced that Tesla had been overtaken, in number of sales, by the Chinese manufacturer BYD. But in reality, this is not the case at all.

New to BYD? This is normal, since it is a Chinese manufacturer which does not yet export its vehicles to France. But it is China’s largest electric car maker. Indeed, as official figures state, with 638,157 electrified cars (rechargeable and electric hybrids) sold in the first half of 2022, BYD did well, comparing to the 564,000 electric cars sold by Tesla over the same period. But, let’s compare what is comparable.

Two times less electric than Tesla

By removing the plug-in hybrid cars sold by BYD over the period (314,638 units), we end up with “only” 323,519 100% electric cars sold by the Chinese firm. It is therefore almost two times less than Tesla over the same period. The American manufacturer can therefore rest on his two ears. But not too long! Indeed, if BYD plans to sell 600,000 electric cars in 2022 against more than a million for Tesla, the Chinese manufacturer’s insolent growth in electric cars (+ 246% over one year) could overshadow to other manufacturers.

Especially since the Chinese manufacturer intends to rapidly increase its production capacity, to approximately 1.5 to 2 million vehicles per year, all engines combined. Last year, over the same period, BYD produced 253,865 cars (all engines combined) against 652,549 units this year over the same period, with only 8,601 petrol cars since the brand stopped production of thermal engines last March. . The growth is enormous and if we continue the comparison with Tesla, the latter produced 386,759 vehicles in the first half of 2021, which gives an annual growth of “only” 46%.

Comparing with other Chinese manufacturers, GAC Aion sold 100,251 cars and 68,983 for Xpeng.

Tesla in sight for BYD and Volkswagen

However, Tesla can be reassured for the moment, since BYD does not intend to immediately stop the production and sale of plug-in hybrids. This still leaves the American manufacturer some time to take advantage of its dominance in the electric car market. But beware, since beyond the Chinese manufacturers, the European and American manufacturers are getting into working order, so much so that Volkswagen thinks to overtake Tesla by 2025.

In any case, we should see landing on our European roads more and more Chinese models, like the Nio and Xpeng which are already in Norway and should soon be marketed in France. On the side of BYD, we could see the Seal arrive in Europe next year while the brand is already present in Norway with the 100% electric SUV Tang.

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