BYD breaks 1mn China NEV barrier as domestic rivals struggle

The market leader is putting a squeeze on competitors with smaller slices of the pie

BYD breaks 1mn China NEV barrier as domestic rivals struggle
The Han is one of BYD's market leaders

Chinese EV heavyweight BYD is dominating its domestic peers in passenger new energy vehicle (NEV) sales so far this year, according to figures published in stock exchange filings by several smaller Chinese automakers in recent weeks.

While BYD reported rapid growth in NEV deliveries in the first nine months of 2023, other manufacturers reported declines versus the same period last year, according to data filed to the Shenzhen and Shanghai stock exchanges this week.

These sales struggles come even as China's NEV market continues to expand. On Wednesday, the country's Traffic Management Bureau of the Ministry of Public Security reported over 5.2mn passenger NEVs were sold nationwide in the first three quarters, up by 40pc year-on-year.

BYD sold over 1mn pure electric passenger cars from January to September, up by 80pc year-on-year and representing about one-third of China’s BEV market. In September alone, BYD delivered over 150,000 BEVs, with total NEV sales —which include hybrids — surpassing 279,000 units. 

In contrast, Saic said its NEV sales fell by 7.1pc to 648,902 over the same period. The Chinese state-owned automaker managed 93,527 NEV sales in September, down by 1.9c.

Anhui Jianghuai Automobile Group’s BEV sales decreased by 4pc to 131,539 units across January to September. The company bucked the trend somewhat in September, with sales up by 10.5pc to 23,085 BEVs sold in China.

Beijing New Energy Automobile, a subsidiary of BAIC Bluepark, was an exception to the BYD squeeze. It sold 8,325 EVs in September and 28,695 units over the first three quarters, up by 90.9pc. EV pure play Xpeng also enjoyed something of a recovery in Q3, although ii struggled in Q1 and Q2.

The sales declines suggest smaller players are struggling to compete as BYD consolidates its domestic market lead with popular models like the Han EV sedan and Tang SUV. BYD also exports a significant portion of its EVs to Europe and other markets.

"In week 41, BYD ranked first again with 51,400 units sold, achieving a market share close to 40pc," says a market analyst on the Chinese Weibo platform under the username Tongkuai Shuyang. "This is an excellent performance indicative of its market dominance this year."

Gathering pace

The shifting market shares of individual companies come as China’s Traffic Management Bureau show NEVs now represent 5.5pc of China's total passenger vehicle fleet. Some 14mn are BEVs, accounting for 77pc of the total number of NEVs.

Overall, China registered 18.17mn passenger NEVs in the January-September period, a 4.4pc increase over last year. NEVs accounted for 28.6pc of total new passenger vehicle registrations in the first nine months.

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