China's New EV Dynamics: BYD Leads EV Race While GM, Honda, Nissan Trail

  • China which boasts of the largest auto market, is accelerating toward an electric future as established global brands trail behind as automakers prepare for the Shanghai auto show starting Tuesday.
  • China-made brands now lead in critical segments powered by new electric-drive models gaining share at home and overseas, Reuters reports.
  • BYD Co, Ltd's BYDDF BYDDY sales in China grew by 69% in 2023, winning an 11% share of the overall car market, more than Volkswagen AG VWAGY or Toyota Motor Corp TM.
  • China's passenger car sales were down 13% in the first quarter, per the China Passenger Car Association. But sales of EVs and plug-in hybrids were up 22%. Sales of internal-combustion vehicles were down by an almost equal margin.
  • Volkswagen, General Motors Co GMHonda Motor Co HMC, and Nissan Motor Co, Ltd NSANY lost in terms of sales and market share. More than 40 auto brands have followed Tesla Inc TSLA in cutting EV prices since January in a price war that cut into industry-wide profitability, analysts say.
  • BYD's Song plug-in hybrid SUV outsold the Nissan Sylphy, China's top-selling vehicle, for three years. BYD's Dolphin EV was ahead of the Volkswagen Passat.
  • Analysts say that plug-ins represent more than half of BYD sales this year, giving the company scale to compete on price across its line-up.
  • Tesla saw a 27% growth in Chinese sales in the first quarter to just over 137,000 of its Model 3 sedans and Model Y crossovers. Tesla also increased its share after cutting China prices by 6% and almost 14% in January.
  • "Gaining further share in the key China market will be the hearts and lungs of the Tesla growth story," Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said in a note on Monday.
  • As a further threat to established brands, China's exports are growing fast, led by EVs and PHEVs. Industry-wide exports from China were up 83% from a year earlier last quarter.
  • BYD, which markets its cars in Europe and Southeast Asia, had a 13-fold increase in exports from China.
  • Price Action: BYDDF shares traded higher by 0.65% at $28.55 on the last check Monday.
  • Photo via Wikimedia Commons
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