China’s BYD has joined the world’s 10 biggest car companies by sales for the first time, surpassing Mercedes-Benz Group and BMW in a sign of how electric vehicles are reshaping the auto industry, reports Nikkei Asia. BYD’s global new vehicle sales grew 96% on the year to 1.25 million autos in the first half of 2023, putting it in 10th place, behind Japan’s Suzuki Motor, data from research company MarkLines and automakers shows.
The Chinese automaker, which quit making gasoline-powered cars in 2022, ranked 16th in sales last year and did not even make the top 20 in 2021. BYD has captured more market share by expanding its lineup both at the low and high ends, with a focus on EVs and plug-in hybrids.
The Tesla rival has also made aggressive moves beyond China’s vast domestic market. BYD exported more than 80,000 Chinese-made autos in the first half of 2023. It grew its presence in Thailand and other Southeast Asian nations, as well as in Russia, where Japanese, American and European automakers have withdrawn following the invasion of Ukraine.