General

BYD has sold so many EVs that it is one of the top three automakers in China

BYD has sold so many EVs that it is one of the top three automakers in China

One of BYD’s best-selling electric car models, the Han, is on display at an auto show in Shenzhen on June 5, 2022.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

BEIJING — Chinese electric car maker BYD saw sales more than double in May, cementing the company’s climb to the top three automakers in China.

This is according to data from the China Passenger Car Association released on Friday. China is the largest car market in the world.

Backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, BYD is also a battery manufacturer that has become a major electric car brand in China — and some of its models rival Tesla in popularity.

So far this year, BYD has not only continued to dominate new energy vehicles, including hybrid and battery-powered cars, but the company has also climbed into the ranks of the top three brands in China by selling passenger cars.

Despite Covid lockdowns hitting supply chains and Chinese consumer confidence, BYD sold 113,768 new energy passenger cars last month, the data shows.

Whether SUVs or smaller passenger cars, BYD accounted for two of the three best-selling new energy models in China last month, according to data from the association. Tesla, Nio and Xpeng didn’t make it.

Those sales put BYD in second place in China’s passenger car market overall — just behind FAW-Volkswagen, with 150,009 cars sold, according to the data. FAW-Volkswagen is the joint venture of the German car manufacturer in China that sells the vehicles of the Audi and Volkswagen brands.

BYD’s sales were up 159.5% year-on-year, while FAW-Volkswagen’s fell 10.6% from May last year. Geely was the third largest in passenger car sales at 73,315, down 14.5%.

Last year, BYD was ranked 13th in passenger car sales. FAW-Volkswagen, SAIC Volkswagen and SAIC GM occupy the top three.

Read more about electric vehicles from CNBC Pro

In the American passenger car market, Tesla did not make the top three. According to Sino Auto Insights, Toyota ranks first in sales, followed by the Chevrolet brand from Ford and General Motors.

Passenger car sales in China fell 11.8% in May from a year ago, while new energy vehicle sales rose 91.2%, according to the passenger car association.

For the first five months of the year, FAW-Volkswagen was in first place in sales, followed by BYD and then Changan Automobile, the data shows.

Within new energy vehicles, BYD was in first place, followed by General Motors’ joint venture with Wuling Motors and the state-owned SAIC Motor. Tesla China is in third place.