China’s BYD posts 21% jump in quarterly EV sales, closes gap with Tesla

BEIJING (Reuters) – China’s BYD posted a 21 percent rise in electric vehicle sales in the second quarter, narrowing the gap with Tesla after handing over the title of the world’s biggest seller of electric vehicles to its U.S. rival in the first quarter.

BYD sold 426,039 electric vehicles in the April-June quarter, about 12,000 fewer than Tesla’s second-quarter deliveries, according to Reuters calculations based on its monthly sales reports.

Tesla Inc. is expected to report a 6% decline in vehicle deliveries in the April-June quarter on Tuesday, the first time the U.S. company is expected to post declines in back-to-back quarters, as it grapples with tough competition in China and slowing demand due to a shortage of affordable new models.

The company could once again cede the EV championship to BYD if actual results fall short of expectations, with Barclays forecasting an 11% drop in second-quarter deliveries, the biggest ever for Tesla.

Sales of Tesla electric vehicles made in China in June fell 24.2% from a year earlier to 71,007, according to data from the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), extending the year-on-year decline to a third month.

Tesla Inc. has hit a roadblock after years of rapid growth that helped make it the world’s most valuable automaker. It warned in January that delivery growth in 2024 would be “significantly lower” as support from months of price cuts dwindles.

Reuters reported in May that the electric carmaker had cut production of its best-selling Model Y electric car by double-digit percentages at its Shanghai plant since March to address weak demand for its older models in China, its second-largest market after the United States.

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By comparison, its major Chinese rival BYD has maintained steady growth in EV sales, while EV startups like Nio have reported impressive growth in the last quarter. NIO’s vehicle deliveries in the second quarter more than doubled to 57,300 units.

Cui Dongshu, secretary-general of the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, said price cuts and a growing shift in consumer demand to electric and hybrid vehicles from gasoline-powered vehicles are the main reasons behind the strong sales of Chinese electric vehicle makers in recent months.

Sales of new energy vehicles including electric and hybrid vehicles in China accounted for 46.7 percent of total auto sales in May, a new monthly high, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.

(Reporting by Kiawee Lee, Zhang Yan, and Kevin Krolicki; Editing by Mi Young Kim and Sherry Jacob Phillips)

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