BYD $40mn/month grant figure raises eyebrows
The Chinese EV heavyweight is receiving material government support
The most important recent figure, amid buoyant October sales data from Chinese NEV makers, pertaining to their Chinese rivals for Western OEMs might not be a sales number at all.
China’s largest automaker BYD sold 165,505 BEVs in October, up from 103,157 in the same month last year. For the first ten months of the year, it has shifted 1,213,918 BEVs, compared to 685,286 in the same period of 2022.
That represents 60.4pc growth in October year-on-year, and 77.1pc growth on a cumulative basis. But it is a line on its balance sheet under extraordinary items that might be garnering greater attention in the boardrooms of legacy OEMs.
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It reveals that, in Q3’23 alone, BYD received RMB938.9mn, equivalent to $128.3mn, in government grants “related to automobiles and automobile-related products”. For the first nine months of the year, it has received RMB2,7bn, or around $370mn, in Chinese government cash.
With the European Commission launching an investigation into Chinese state subsidies potential distorting competition in the European market, and the US also increasingly Sino-phobic when it comes to its domestic EV market, the fact that BYD has been handed on average over $40mn/month in grants over the first nine months of the year is likely to be raised by lobbyists for Western OEMs in the corridors of both Brussels and Washington.