Tesla, BYD, push China’s NEV sales up 75% in October

Tesla Inc. and BYD Co. have helped push retail sales of New Energy Vehicles (NEV) in China up 75% in October from a year earlier. The carmakers were able to post impressive figures despite the country’s Covid-related disruptions last month. 

According to figures released on Tuesday by the China Passenger Car Association (CPCA), a total of 556,000 passenger NEVs — which include both pure electric cars and plug-in hybrids — were sold in October. Sales for the first ten months of the year increased to 4.43 million as well. Tesla Inc. sold 71,704 vehicles in October, including 54,504 for export, while BYD Co. shipped 217,518 vehicles, which included hybrid cars.

As noted in a Bloomberg News report, wholesale sales of passenger NEVs reached 676,000 in October. Considering the growing popularity of electric vehicles in China, the CPCA anticipates monthly sales to surpass 700,000 in November and October. If these estimates prove accurate, China’s NEV total for this year could reach 6.5 million units. 

October, however, did not come without challenges for China’s automakers. As Covid outbreaks and lockdowns clogged supply lines and reduced manufacturing, sales of all types of vehicles in China decreased 4.4% from a month earlier to 1.86 million units. According to CPCA Secretary General Cui Dongshu during a media briefing, such a trend is not uncommon. 

“It is not common for the October sales to be lower than that of September. We are expecting it to be a temporary loss under the Covid control policies which led to dealer closures and auto event cancellations,” the Dongshu said. 

The battle among domestic automakers in China has gotten fiercer this year. Amid this environment, some local EV makers like Nio Inc., Xpeng Inc., and Li Auto Inc., have seen their fair share of challenges, with the companies losing ground to Tesla and BYD.

The following months may continue to be dominated by companies like Tesla. Last month alone, Tesla initiated a series of price cuts for its best-selling Model 3 sedan and Model Y crossovers, making them even more competitive in the domestic market. Tesla’s Giga Shanghai facility has also been upgraded, with the factory now estimated to have an annual production capacity of about 1 million vehicles. 

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