Market Overview

Warren Buffett-backed Chinese electric car company outsells its start-up rivals

Chinese automaker BYD is selling far more luxury electric sedans a month than the leading start-ups in the country, even though overall sales fell 11% last year. BYD, backed by American billionaire Warren Buffett, disclosed late Tuesday that sales of battery-powered electric passenger cars fell 11% to 130,970 units last year. Overall sales, including that of commercial and oil-fueled vehicles, fell 7.46%.

However, sales improved in December, with that of battery-powered and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles surging more than 150% from the same month in 2019 to 27,594 units. Sales of BYD’s “Han” electric car have also increased every month since the July launch to surpass 10,000 units in November. December figures weren’t available. That’s according to a transcript of an investor call accessed through the Wind Information database.

In late September, BYD said it delivered 4,000 units of the new luxury electric sedan in August, and that orders had topped 40,000 at that time. The vehicle comes in both pure electric and plug-in hybrid versions. At these sales levels, the “Han” model alone is selling just as well as electric vehicles from Chinese automaker Nio, and better than that of other start-ups Li Auto and Xpeng.

The best performer of the three, Nio, said deliveries more than doubled last year to 43,728 vehicles, with a monthly high of more than 7,000 units in December. Nio plans to reveal its first sedan on Saturday.

China, the world’s largest auto market, began to emerge from a prolonged slump in car sales this summer.

Sales of pure electric vehicles from January through November rose 4.4% from a year ago, versus a decline of 7.6% in overall passenger car sales during the same time, according to China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology.

Warren Buffett-backed Chinese electric car company outsells its start-up rivals, CNBC, Jan 6

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