An EV Maker You’ve Never Heard of Is One of the Top-Selling Brands

You’ve heard of the big names in electric vehicles (EVs) like Tesla, Lucid, and Rivian. Those companies aim to change the way we get from point A to B. However, there is another company that isn’t far from replacing Tesla as the top dog. Enter BYD, China’s premier EV maker and top-selling brand.  

What is BYD?

BYD is a major automaker based in Guangdong, China. The EV maker is China’s largest manufacturer of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV). Furthermore, the EV maker sold two out of three of the top-performing “new energy” vehicles in China in the month of May, edging out close rival NIO. 

BYD is an EV maker and one of the top-selling brands.
The BYD E-SEED concept car | Nicolaus Asfouri, AFP via Getty Images

Is BYD available in the USA?

BYD vehicles are not available for purchase in the United States. At least not yet. Instead, the Chinese company sells the vast majority of its cars domestically, which, according to CNBC, is the largest auto market in the world. However, just because it isn’t currently selling EVs and PHEVs in the United States does not mean it won’t do so in the future. 

The major EV maker claimed recently that it would produce battery technology for Tesla. That announcement follows Elon Musk’s 2021 comments that BYD’s cars aren’t a concern for Tesla and that he doesn’t “think they have a very good product.”

Will BYD replace Tesla as the top-selling brand and EV maker?

BYD outsold Tesla in the first half of 2022, selling 641,350 to Tesla’s 564,743. According to Fortune.com, that number doesn’t reflect fully-electric vehicles like Tesla’s lineup. Instead, the sales figure reflects the Chinese automaker’s combined sales of “new energy” vehicles like PHEVs and EVs. So, while BYD outsold Tesla with combined vehicle sales, it didn’t outsell Tesla in terms of battery electric vehicles (BEVs).  

BYD is one of the top-selling brands.
A “new energy” drivetrain | Nelson Ching, Bloomberg via Getty Images

Does Warren Buffett still own BYD?

Warren Buffett’s multinational holding company, Berkshire-Hathaway (BRKA), partly owns the Chinese company, BYD. Berkshire-Hathaway has interests that span the gamut from insurance companies like Geico to tech companies like Apple

However, things aren’t all upward trajectories for the EV maker. According to CNN, shares in the marque fell 11% in the United States on Tuesday the 12th of July, following business intelligence suggesting that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway was offloading its 225 million shares in the manufacturer. That could spell short-term disaster for BYD. 

BYD, the Chinese EV maker, is one of the top-selling brands in the world.
BYD logo | Nelson Ching, Bloomberg via Getty Images

What other Chinese EV makers are top-selling brands?

In addition to BYD, NIO is a major electric vehicle manufacturer in China. NIO makes everything from sensible economy cars to the fire-breathing EP9 hypercar. Still, NIO isn’t up to the manufacturing volume of Tesla and other automakers. Also, according to CNBC, Xpeng Inc is also heavily invested in producing and selling smart EVs. 

Although Tesla took a hit from Covid-related issues and supply chain follies, the major EV maker doesn’t need to look over its shoulder in the US market quite yet, not for BYD at least. However, Volkswagen, whose Chinese partnership already outsells Chinese EV manufacturers, will likely overtake Tesla by 2024 in the United States.

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