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BYD EV sales plummet in Q1 as hybrids surge

BYD witnessed a sharp quarter-over-quarter electric vehicle sales decline amidst a slowdown in demand and an economic downturn in China

China-based automaker BYD has reported a significant drop in electric vehicle sales after aggressive price cuts drove record-high volumes in the previous quarter.

On Monday, the company reported sales of 300,114 fully electric units during the January-through-March period. While the number reflects a roughly 12% increase from the first quarter of 2023, it also represents a 43% decline from the preceding period’s 526,409 units, which remains BYD’s all-time high.

The decline in battery-powered car sales comes amidst a worldwide softening in electric vehicle demand, exacerbated by an economic downturn in China. However, a similar but less rapid decline in BYD’s total sales count, including all model types, indicates that the company’s troubles are more related to the unique challenges of its domestic market rather than a cooldown in its EV business. Across all divisions, the automaker sold a total of 626,263 units during the first quarter, up 13.4% from last year and down 33.7% from the fourth quarter of 2023, underscoring the general volatility in China’s car market.

Although BYD sailed past Tesla, originally the world’s top electric vehicle seller, in sales for the first time during the previous quarter, its poorer performance during the first three months of 2024 likely means it will fall back to second place. However, while the latter’s lineup is comprised entirely of fully electric models, the former also sells hybrid models, giving it an edge in a market that is starting to show more preference for low-emission rather than zero-emission vehicles. BYD sold a total of 161,729 hybrids in March alone, a massive 56.4% jump from last year. Meanwhile, although it appears to have beaten its Chinese competitor in the battery-only segment once more, Tesla also saw sales decline roughly 20% from the previous quarter. While it is too early to say whether the growing popularity of hybrids has come at the expense of electric vehicle sales, automakers with diverse lineups are likely to experience less volatility in the months ahead.

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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