Electric Cars: Chinese Manufacturers in the Fast Lane

by | 28. Aug 2023 - 12:13 | Economy

BYD among world’s ten largest car companies for the first time. In addition to increasing know-how, Chinese vehicle manufacturers benefit from the country’s wealth of raw materials.

Chinese electric carmaker BYD has ranked among the world’s ten largest car companies for the first time, overtaking Mercedes-Benz and BMW in sales figures, Nikkei Asia writes. BYD’s global new vehicle sales rose 96 percent to 1.25 million cars in the first half of 2023, lifting the Shenzhen-based producer to 10th on the list, data from market research firm MarkLines and the automaker showed. In 2022, BYD ranked 16th; the previous year, the group was not in the top 20.

BYD’s rise exemplifies the growing importance of Chinese e-car manufacturers outside the vast domestic market. The group exported over 80,000 cars produced in China in the first half of 2023 and was ahead of Tesla in battery electric, plug-in hybrid, and fuel cell vehicle sales in 14 major markets.

Other vehicle producers from China also posted double-digit sales increases in the year’s first half. According to the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, major Chinese automakers exported 2.14 million vehicles during the period, up 76 percent from a year earlier. Conversely, Japanese and European automakers struggled in China, according to Nikkei.

A report by German insurer Allianz ranked the Middle Kingdom as the most significant risk to Europe’s auto industry in its shift to battery-powered electric vehicles. It said China recognized the potential of electric cars 15 years ago and has invested “enormous resources” to build a competitive ecosystem. In addition to growing know-how, the raw materials needed to manufacture e-cars, such as rare earths, play a role (we reported); here, Chinese companies are sitting at the source, so to speak, while their European competitors are almost entirely dependent on imports.

Photo: iStock/ismael juan

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