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Buffett-Backed BYD Overtakes Volkswagen In China's EV Market - Infographics

BYD F0, Photo: Ilya Plekhanov, via Wikimedia Commons

China’s auto market, the world’s largest, is dominated by BYD. The Warren Buffett-backed electric car maker is now China’s best-selling marque, displacing Volkswagen for the first time.

According to data released by the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers, BYD’s New Energy Vehicles (NEVs) sales in China’s first quarter rose to 441,000 units, compared to Volkswagen’s 427,240 units. VW’s electric vehicle sales accounted for just five percent at 21,500 cars.

“BYD is very, very strong,” Volkswagen Chief Executive Officer Oliver Blume said during an event at the Shanghai auto show this month. “In the end, not everything is about volume. We want to have a successful business, and it is more important to be the best international group here in China.”

BYD sold 552,076 cars globally in January-March, up 90% from Q1 2022, with more than 124,800 vehicles abroad.

According to Bloomberg Intelligence, Shenzhen-based BYD will sell at least three million vehicles this year, up from 1.86 million in 2022.

The company is due to report first-quarter results Thursday. BYD’s shares are up 16% in Hong Kong this year, giving it a market value of about $95 billion versus Volkswagen’s $77 billion, dwarfed by Tesla Inc.’s market value of $515 billion.