BYD poised to surpass Tesla as world's top-selling EV company
This file photo shows attendees taking photos of the E-SEED electric concept car during a press conference by Chinese automaker BYD at the China Auto Show in Beijing, on April 25, 2018. (Photo: AP)

BYD is poised to overtake billionaire Elon Musk's Tesla as the world's biggest seller of electric vehicles (EVs) as the Chinese automaker's global sales push gains greater traction, Bloomberg news reported earlier this week.

According to Bloomberg, China's best-selling car brand came within a whisker of toppling Tesla in the last quarter after factory downtime led to the US automaker's first delivery decline in more than a year.

"BYD sold 431,603 fully electric vehicles in the three months ended September 30, up 23 per cent from the second quarter. Tesla shipped 435,059 cars globally in the quarter, with the 3,456 gap between the two the narrowest yet," Bloomberg said.

"BYD will sell more fully electric passenger vehicles than Tesla in the fourth quarter," the report quotes Taylor Ogan, chief executive of Shenzhen-based hedge fund Snow Bull Capital, which owns shares in both automakers.

"Including hybrids, BYD sold a total of 822,094 vehicles for another record quarter, helping it cement its lead as China's best-selling car brand," the Bloomberg report said.

BYD, which is known for selling affordable cars to the masses, has made progress in broadening its appeal, aiding its sales surge.

The company has added two luxury EV brands — Yangwang and Fang Cheng Bao — to penetrate the 1 million yuan price category, more than double some of its earlier higher-end vehicles. It also pushed two cheaper models — the Seagull and Dolphin — to undercut its rivals, Bloomberg reported.

"Growing exports are also aiding the company, which also makes its own batteries and semiconductor chips, as it eyes a larger chunk of overseas sales to supplement its dominance in China," the Bloomberg report stated.

The news organisation also quoted its intelligence analyst Joanne Chen as saying that exports accounted for nine per cent of BYD's third-quarter sales, up from five per cent in the previous quarter.

"This will be a key volume driver [in 2024] as BYD expands its global presence with more new EVs," Chen said.

Bloomberg also reported that Tesla's deliveries missed estimates by around 20,000 units as it prepared its factories to make a refreshed Model 3 sedan and the yet-to-be-released Cybertruck.

However, the company affirmed its annual target of selling 1.8 million vehicles, while BYD remains on track to sell around three million vehicles, including hybrids, Bloomberg reported.

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