Chinese EV leaders BYD and NIO achieve record EV sales as price war looms

Several leading Chinese EV makers, including BYD and NIO, posted strong sales results this week. NIO hit a new record in Q3, while BYD continued its dominant streak with record-breaking EV sales in September.

BYD record September EV sales close gap with Tesla

China continues leading the way in the auto industry’s shift to electric vehicles. Through the first seven months of the year, EV sales reached over 3.06 million, up 28.7% from 2022.

Despite a price war ignited by Tesla earlier this year, Chinese EV makers are gaining market share as they expand internationally.

Leading Chinese automaker (after surpassing Volkswagen earlier this year) BYD delivered a record 151,193 fully electric vehicles in September alone. In light of the progress, BYD sold 431,603 EVs in the third quarter.

The growth was enough to propel BYD significantly closer to EV leader Tesla. Tesla announced this morning it delivered 435,059 electric models, missing estimates of around 440,000 to 490,000.

BYD, which started as a battery company, has rapidly expanded in China and is already dominating in several overseas markets, including Thailand, Brazil, Columbia, and Israel.

BYD Dolphin EV (Source: BYD)

With nearly all components made in-house, BYD has a major advantage as it expands overseas with affordable EVs like the Dolphin electric hatch.

The fourth quarter should be interesting as BYD looks to keep the momentum going with new model launches in Japan, Mexico, Australia, India, Hungary, and more.

BYD Yuan Plus (Source: BYD)

NIO’s record third quarter

Another Chinese EV maker, NIO, hit its strides in the third quarter, posting record deliveries. NIO delivered 15,641 units in September, pushing the third quarter to a record 55,432 (+75.4% YOY).

Through September, NIO has delivered 109,993 all-electric models. Deliveries picked up over the past few months, with several new models hitting the market.

NIO EV deliveries 2023 (Source: NIO)

NIO launched what many call its most important model yet in the new ES6, which broke the monthly sales record for a single model in July.

The EV startup also launched its first electric station wagon, the ET5 Touring, designed for European buyers in June. And more recently, the refreshed EC6 began rolling out.

NIO new ES6 (Source: NIO)

NIO, known for its smart premium smart electric vehicles, looks to be taking a page out of BYD’s book with affordable models. The first photos of NIO’s new “Alps” mass-market EV brand, designed to rival Toyota and Volkswagen, are starting to emerge online.