Tesla, BYD Post record sales on demand for electric vehicles

(Bloomberg) — Tesla Inc. and BYD Co . set new sales records in the second quarter, extending their lead as the world’s best-selling clean car manufacturers.

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Elon Musk-led Tesla delivered a record 466,140 cars worldwide in results released Sunday, beating Wall Street estimates. BYD, China’s best-selling car brand, posted its best ever quarterly sales results of 700,244 new energy vehicles – half all-electric sales, the others plug-in hybrids.

BYD shares jumped as much as 3.2% Monday morning in Hong Kong. Tesla’s battery suppliers Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd. and LG Energy Solution Ltd. rose by as much as 2.3% and 3.1[ads1]% on Monday, respectively, before the rally.

Tesla’s results

Tesla’s results showed that CEO Musk’s promise to chase volume by cutting prices has had its intended effect. Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had expected the company to ship 448,350 cars in the quarter.

“It’s a big beat,” said Ben Kallo of Robert W. Baird in a telephone interview Sunday morning. “People were still preparing for another round of price cuts, and this big delivery number makes it less of a risk.”

The deliveries are the most ever in a quarter for Austin-based Tesla, and an 83% increase from a year ago. The company also managed to narrow the gap between production and deliveries – a figure closely watched by analysts – to 13,560 units in the second quarter. In the first quarter, it produced almost 18,000 more cars than it delivered to customers.

“Everybody was worried about stockpiling, and it looks like they’ve normalized,” Kallo said. “The gap between production and deliveries is shrinking, and that’s what Tesla said they would do.”

Tesla, which sells its cars directly to consumers, has many levers to move vehicles. As well as cutting prices across the range earlier this year, the company introduced perks, such as three months of free fast charging in the US for cars delivered before June 30, to entice buyers. Analysts have predicted price cuts will continue into next year.

Read more: Tesla approaches another delivery record after price cut

Tesla does not break out its quarterly delivery figures by individual vehicle type or region. Models 3 and Y accounted for 96% of sales. Tesla also makes the Model S and X.

Tesla is easily still the largest electric car manufacturer in the US, but it is facing new competition around the world. It’s latest vehicle – the Model Y – debuted in 2020.

In China – its No. 2 market – the company has fallen well behind BYD, which has a much fresher lineup and increasingly global ambitions. Tesla announced last week that it was cutting prices of its premium car models in China by more than 4.5%, following a decision to hand out cash subsidies to some buyers of its Model 3 cars last month.

Read more: Watch Asia EV stocks after Tesla tops delivery estimates

Tesla will report results for the second quarter on July 19.

World record

A closely watched measure of who is leading in sales of pure electric vehicles shows that Tesla extended its lead over BYD, even as the Chinese manufacturer continues to grow globally through its affordable offerings.

Still, Shenzhen-based BYD’s quarterly sales — extrapolated from monthly data — grew 98% from a year earlier. The increase marks a turnaround from a weak first three months of the year. The previous best quarter was the last three months of 2022, and the company sold a record 251,685 new energy vehicles in June.

Smaller Chinese upstart Li Auto Inc. posted a new monthly high of 32,575 deliveries, while Xpeng Inc. and Nio Inc. saw modest gains. Guangzhou Automotive Group Co.’s EV brand Aion stood out with another strong sales month, with 45,013 deliveries.

June sales “show that demand for new energy vehicles remains quite strong” despite China’s economic hardship, Bloomberg Intelligence automotive and electric vehicle battery analyst Joanna Chen said.

–With assistance from Charlotte Yang.

(Adds share price reaction in the third paragraph)

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