Opinion: BYD shines amid healthy competition with Tesla-Xinhua

Opinion: BYD shines amid healthy competition with Tesla

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-01-04 18:34:15

Electric buses from Chinese automaker BYD serving as internal shuttles for the UN climate change conference are seen at a parking lot in Dubai, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Dec. 3, 2023.  (Xinhua/Wang Dongzhen)

The growth of BYD and Tesla demonstrates that it is not always bad to have a strong competitor.

by Xinhua writer Jin Yuelei

BEIJING, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- Chinese automaker BYD for the first time overtook Tesla as the world's largest seller of electric vehicles (EV) in the last quarter of 2023, showing China's great growth potential in the EV market.

The change in quarterly EV sales rankings signals growing competition in the global EV market. But it is delightful to see that both BYD and Tesla have expanded their manufacturing capacity and enjoyed record sales over the last decade.

The growth of BYD and Tesla demonstrates that it is not always bad to have a strong competitor.

Back in 2011, Tesla's CEO Elon Musk dismissed the possibility of BYD becoming a competitor to Tesla in a Bloomberg TV interview.

Musk's attitude at that time was understandable given the fact that BYD was a little-known Chinese car company.

Over the years, Musk's opinion about BYD has immensely changed. "That was many years ago. Their cars are highly competitive these days," Musk wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

From dismissal to appreciation, Musk's shift of attitude towards BYD represents a clear affirmation of what the Chinese car company has achieved over the past decade.

The company's passenger electric vehicles have entered 59 countries and regions, including Japan, Germany, and Australia. By November of 2023, it had exported more than 200,000 new energy passenger cars to markets outside China.

Musk has indeed given BYD cars a due credit.

People visit the BYD booth at the 2023 International Motor Show, officially known as the IAA MOBILITY 2023, in Munich, Germany, Sept. 8, 2023.(Xinhua/Zhang Fan)

Admittedly, not only has Musk's perception of BYD changed over the decade, his confidence in the business potential of the Chinese market has also grown.

Over the past years, his company has continued to expand the production capacity of its Shanghai Gigafactory and build more facilities, including a supercharger manufacturing factory.

The Chinese market has become crucial to Tesla. More than half of the over 1.8 million electric vehicles Tesla globally delivered last year came from the Shanghai plant.

Tesla has grown rapidly thanks to the complete new energy vehicle (NEV) industry cluster in China's Yangtze River Delta region, Shanghai's magnetism for global high-end talents, the advantageous location for transport, and the superior business environment, commented Song Gang, senior director of manufacturing at Tesla Gigafactory Shanghai.

BYD's record sales are a bright spot of China's NEV industry, which was lackluster in the past, but has been flourishing since Tesla's arrival.

An increasing number of foreign traditional car enterprises have begun to cooperate with China's NEV and battery companies.

"Chinese enterprises in the (related) supply chain have grown with Tesla, because there are a lot of underlying research and development of new energy vehicles, from ideas to assembly lines. Tesla is advancing with these enterprises," said the president of Tesla China Wang Hao.

BYD and Tesla, two respected companies, have grown with the Chinese market. Their success shows the world how an open market and healthy competition can make mutual achievements a reality. 


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