Tesla Reclaims Global BEV Crown from China’s BYD

Despite facing production challenges and a year-on-year decline in deliveries, Tesla has once again emerged as the global leader in battery electric vehicle (BEV) sales, outpacing its closest competitor, China’s BYD, in the first quarter of 2024.

As we reported earlier today, Tesla delivered 386,810 vehicles worldwide in the first quarter, down 8.5% from the previous year, marking its first year-over-year (YoY) decline since Q2 2020. The downturn was attributed to production adjustments for the updated Model 3, and factory shutdowns due to external disruptions, including a significant arson attack at Giga Berlin.

Meanwhile, BYD, which the mainstream media heralded as the world’s leading EV manufacturer last quarter, the first time it had done so, reported first-quarter BEV sales of 300,114. This was an even sharper 43% decline from the last quarter of 2023, allowing Tesla to easily move ahead in the global BEV rankings.

In contrast to Tesla’s YoY decline, BYD’s deliveries represent a 13.4% increase from the same time period last year.

The first quarter results for both automaker represent the struggle faced by today’s EV automakers, particularly those in the ultra-competitive Chinese automotive market. Despite the competition, both companies have expressed a mutual recognition of each other. Last year Tesla CEO, Elon Musk, who has previously acknowledged the competitiveness of Chinese automakers, noted that their relationship with BYD is “positive.”

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