An exceptional thing happened in the third quarter of 2023, as the two largest all-electric car manufacturers (OEMs) – Tesla and BYD – sold a similar number of vehicles.
As with every quarter, in this post, we will take a look at the global sales results of battery electric cars (BEVs) by three OEMs – Tesla, BYD, and Volkswagen Group – although the third one is not in the same league as the first two right now.
Last quarter, Tesla once again sold the highest number of all-electric cars at 435,059. However, partially due to some upgrades at its factories, the year-over-year growth rate of production and sales was limited and amounted to “only” 27 percent.
This slower rate of growth enabled the surging BYD to almost pass Tesla in terms of all-electric car sales. The Chinese company reports 431,603 BEV sales, which is just 3,456 less than Tesla. The two companies never have been so close to each other, as BYD noted 99.2 percent of what Tesla did in terms of sales (excluding commercial BEVs and plug-in hybrids).
It’s a strong sign that Tesla’s domination in the BEV segment might be coming to an end. Depending on whether the slowdown of expansion was temporary or not, Tesla will maintain or lose its top position in Q4.
Meanwhile, the Volkswagen Group increased its all-electric car sales by 41 percent year-over-year to 209,394 units, which is less than half of Tesla’s and BYD’s results. The German manufacturer must now watch its back to maintain its spot on the podium.
All-electric car sales in Q3’2023 (YOY change):
During the first nine months of the year, Tesla sold more than 1.3 million all-electric cars, while BYD exceeded one million. The Volkswagen Group is at about half of BYD’s volume right now with over 500,000 units sold.
It’s worth noting that BYD far outpaced the other two OEMs in terms of year-over-year growth, but is not expected to catch up with Tesla in 2023 as the difference is too big.
All-electric car sales in Q1-Q3’2023 (YOY change):
- Tesla: 1,324,074 (up 46%)
- BYD: 1,048,413 (up 80%) or 79.2% of Tesla’s result
Difference to Tesla: 275,661 (down 16%)
- Volkswagen Group: 530,485 (up 45%) or 40.1% of Tesla’s result
Difference to Tesla: 793,589 (up 46%)
For reference, in 2022, Tesla delivered more than 1.3 million electric cars (an increase of 40 percent year-over-year), BYD sold over 0.9 million (up 184 percent) and Volkswagen Group over 0.57 million (up 26 percent).
- Tesla sales do not include trucks (Tesla Semi)
- BYD sales (including Denza) do not include commercial vehicles (trucks/buses)
- Volkswagen Group includes Volkswagen (cars), Audi, Skoda, Porsche, Seat/Cupra, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles (vans), but for the sake of comparison we excluded MAN, Scania and Navistar.