Tesla has released its production and sales figures for the final quarter of 2023, and they confirm what had been expected: it fell behind BYD in electric vehicle (EV) sales.

    The American company produced 494,989 vehicles in the fourth quarter, delivering 484,507.

    But Chinese company BYD, for the first time, sold more EVs. Excluding the company’s range of plug-in hybrid vehicles and commercial vehicles such as buses, BYD says it sold 526,409 vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2023.

    All up, Tesla produced a total of 1,845,985 vehicles during 2023, delivering 1,808,581 in total. Its total deliveries were up around 37 per cent over its 2022 tally.

    While BYD comfortably beat that annual tally again with 3,024,417 vehicles sold, that includes the company’s plug-in hybrids (1,438,084 units) and commercial vehicles (11,511).

    Take those out of the equation, and BYD sold 1,574,822 EVs, up 72.84 per cent year on year; its total EV production figure was 1,589,571 units. That saw it fall short of Tesla in overall EV sales.

    BYD’s export numbers have been steadily increasing as it enters more and more markets.

    It sold 242,766 vehicles in export markets during 2023, a year-on-year increase of a whopping 334 per cent. As Car News China notes, in one year, it sold more vehicles in export markets than it did for nearly two decades.

    Tesla has a much smaller range of EVs than BYD, and its Model 3 and Model Y account for the lion’s share – just over 96 per cent – of its sales.

    No Cybertruck delivery figures were reported but, though Tesla delivered its first examples of the electric ute in 2023, it was understood to only be a handful of vehicles.

    BYD offers electric sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs and people movers, and it tripled the size of its Australian line-up last year by introducing the Seal sedan and Dolphin hatchback.

    It’s set to grow the local line-up further in 2024, though for the first time it will introduce plug-in hybrids to our market: a mid-sized SUV and a ute.

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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