Warren Buffett-Backed Chinese EV Maker BYD Takes Top Spot From Musk’s Tesla

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/Shutterstock (12909721h)Chinese car brand "BYD" is operating in Changzhou.
Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/Shutterstock / Sheldon Cooper/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

The Oracle of Omaha-backed Chinese electric vehicle (EV) company BYD reportedly surpassed rival Tesla’s deliveries for the first half of 2022.

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“#BYD sold 134,036 new energy vehicles in June, with a YOY increase of 162.7%! First half of 2022 we delivered total sales exceeding 640,000 units. We are excited to be taking initiatives for building a greener future for all!” the company tweeted on July 3.

Forbes reported that Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holds a 7.7% stake in BYD.

According to a company financial filing, BYD sold 641,350 new EVs in the first half of 2022 — a 314.9% increase from the corresponding half of 2021.

In comparison, Tesla’s deliveries were lower, just above 564,000 for the first half of the year. On July 2, Elon Musk’s EV company reported data for the second quarter, saying it produced 258,580 vehicles and delivered 254,695 vehicles “despite ongoing supply chain challenges and factory shutdowns beyond our control,” according to an investor relations release. The release detailed that June 2022 was the highest vehicle production month in Tesla’s history. This comes on the heels of 310,048 deliveries for the first quarter, according to an investor release.

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Fortune notes, however, that the numbers “don’t represent an apples-to-apples comparison.”

“Many of BYD’s car sales are plug-in hybrids and use gasoline engines to supplement battery power. Tesla, on the other hand, exclusively sells fully electric cars. China counts both types of vehicles as ‘zero-emission,'” Fortune reports.

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Insider reports that contrary to Tesla, BYD’s factories remained open despite the “zero-Covid” policy lockdowns in China.

On July 5, Bloomberg also reported that Tesla will halt most production on its Model Y assembly line in Shanghai for the first two weeks of July, adding that TeslaMag is reporting that Tesla’s plant near Berlin will take a two-week break starting July 11.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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