In 2022, three car manufacturers managed to make it to the podium for electric car sales. These are Tesla, BYD and Volkswagen. But be careful, because a fight is taking place on the podium, and a fourth actor is also starting to get good.
If you avidly follow electric car news on Fandroid, you should already know the three car manufacturers that sell the most electric cars right now. We stocked in the third quarter of 2022 as well as in the second quarter of the same year. The classification then is the same, although the lines are beginning to move.
For the fourth quarter of 2022, it is the same story: Tesla remains the great leader in the electric car. But be careful, because as we will see, the Chinese giant BYD is coming at full speed and may overtake Elon Musk’s company for a long time. Volkswagen (the group, not just the manufacturer) remains third, but far from the first two. The German group is starting to be overtaken by another Chinese group: SAIC (MG). The year 2023 could be decisive.
Tesla, leader of the electric car
In detail, and as can be seen in the table below, Tesla sold 405,000 electric cars (Model 3, Model Y, Model S and Model X) between October and December 2022. Throughout the year, more than 1.3 million units were sold to brand customers. That’s a lot and it’s a record for Tesla, but also for the electric car industry.
We saw sales increase between the beginning of the year and the end of 2022. The second quarter was marked by COVID, which slowed the pace of its Gigafactory in Shanghai significantly. With fourth quarter sales numbers, Tesla could sell more than 1.5 million electric cars by the year 2023. If all Tesla factories were running at full speed, about 2 million electric cars car can be sold. Even 2.5 million in renovations Tesla wants to make at its Gigafactory in Berlin.
|Sale||You are here||BYD||volkswagen|
|First quarter 2022||305 407||143 223||99 100|
|Second quarter 2022||254,695||180 296||118,000|
|Third quarter 2022||343,000||258,618||149,300|
|Fourth quarter 2022||405,000||329,000||205,800|
|Total 2022||1,308,102||911 137||572 100|
Is this enough to widen the gap with BYD? Not needed.
BYD, the number 2 electric car in the world
If you don’t know BYD, remember this name. It is a Chinese manufacturer that has existed since 1995 to whom we owe, in particular, the 100% electric London red bus. BYD arrives in Europe, with three electric cars: the BYD Han, Tang and Atto 3. It is possible that other electric cars will be sold in Europe in the coming months, for example, the BYD Seal and the BYD Dolphin (Atto 2) .
However, BYD is strong, very strong, in the electric car. In the fourth quarter of 2022, the Chinese manufacturer sold more than 329,000 electric cars, for a total of more than 900,000 for the entire year. So yes, it is less than Tesla. But be careful, there are two details to consider.
The first is that BYD only sold 143,000 electric cars in the first quarter of 2022. The increase in rate is therefore huge, with more than doubling, in quarterly sales, in less than a year!
The second detail is the fact that BYD also makes and sells… plug-in hybrid cars! And not just a little. By 2022, the Chinese manufacturer has sold nearly 828,000 PHEV vehicles. Considering hybrids and electrics, BYD therefore has a production capacity of about 1.8 million units per year. What Tesla is seriously concerned about.
And certainly, the review company GlobalData estimated 1.6 million sales for Tesla in 2023 compared to 1.58 million for BYD in its recent market analysis. But be careful, we think that the trend cabinet does not take into account the recent price drop in Tesla, which will probably change everything, flooding the market.
Volkswagen, catching up
In third place is the German Volkswagen group, which sells the Volkswagen brand as well as Audi, Cupra, Porsche, Seat and Skoda. In the last quarter of 2022, 205,800 electric cars were sold. Over the year, there were 572,100 units. This is almost half of BYD, but like the Chinese giant, the German group doubled its sales between the beginning of 2022 and the end of the year.
Unfortunately for Volkswagen, these efforts should not be enough for 2023. Due to the fourth position, we find another Chinese group: SAIC, the parent company of MG. Precise sales numbers are hard to come by for this group, but preliminary estimates point to fewer than 500,000 electric vehicles being sold over the past year. And this good figure is made possible by one electric car in particular, the famous Wuling Hong Guang MINIEV which is the best-selling electric car in China in 2022. With more than 400,000 copies sold thanks to the joint venture with General Motors (SAIC-GM-Wuling).
2023, the pivotal year for the Chinese?
For 2023, SAIC should be stronger, as the group has marketed several electric cars in recent months. We can mention the MG4 (with a sales target of 100,000 cars in 2023), but also the Cadillac Lyriq with GM as well as the Buick Electra E5. This is also the case of the Rising Auto brand with the R7 SUV that “recharges” in less than 5 minutes, but also the IM in particular the LS7.
Predictions for 2023 put SAIC at over a million electric vehicles sold, compared to just over 840,000 for the Volkswagen Group. Figures that should be taken with very large tweezers, but nevertheless show a trend.
Chinese manufacturers have launched an invasion of Europe, while on the contrary, European manufacturers are struggling to sell their cars in China. So some even leave the territory, like Jeep, an important part of Stellantis.
The year 2023 will therefore be very interesting to follow on the electric car side. Will Tesla succeed in maintaining its leading position, despite BYD’s increasingly strong presence? When will SAIC group catch up with Volkswagen? See you next March for the first glimpse of sales figures for the year 2023, on the occasion of the first quarter.
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