Tesla has a big competitor. It is the Chinese company BYD

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In 1995, Wang Quanfu, a metallurgy graduate, founded BYD, a small Chinese company focused on producing rechargeable nickel-cadmium batteries at a lower cost than Japanese competitors.

Nearly 30 years later, the Shenzhen-based company has become the world's leading manufacturer of electric cars, even surpassing American giant Tesla.TSLA) in global sales of pure electric vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2023.

But the two companies remain rivals, with Tesla reclaiming its crown in the first quarter of 2024.

Here's how they compare, in four charts:

It was Tesla stock Priced at $17 stock when it listed in June 2010. Nearly 14 years later, the company's shares are trading at more than $166, giving it a market value of about $560 billion, making it the most valuable car company in the world. It is also among the largest companies in the world in terms of market value.

As for BYD, its $81 billion market capitalization puts it among the world's 10 largest automakers, according to Murthy Grande, a business fundamentals analyst at GlobalData, a data and analytics firm in London.

However, it lags far behind Tesla and other automakers like Toyota (TM) and Stellantis (STLA), a conglomerate created as a result of the merger of the French PSA Group and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in 2021. The group sells cars under 14 brands, including Chrysler, Citroen, Jeep, Maserati and Peugeot.

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But BYD has already surpassed BMW and Ford (F(It joins Mercedes-Benz and Ferrari)race).

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In 2023, Tesla sold about 230,000 more cars than BYD. But the gap narrowed from 400,000 in 2022 and 600,000 in 2021.

And in the fourth quarter of 2023, BYD hit a major milestone: selling more battery electric vehicles (BEVs) than Musk did globally, due in part to Tesla's slowdown in one of its biggest markets, China, and to a general slowdown. In demand for electric vehicles.

However, the Chinese company faltered in early 2024. It sold only 300,114 electric cars in the first quarter, down from the 525,409 cars it sold in the final three months of last year.

This decline was large enough for Tesla, which sold 386,810 electric cars in the same period, to regain its previous position despite falling sales.

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BYD's competitive pricing has helped propel its rise to the top of the electric vehicle charts, especially compared to Tesla's pricier vehicles. But for both, competition in the world's largest car market is heating up.

On March 4, BYD launched a new version of one of its best-selling models, the Yuan Plus crossover, known as the Atto 3 outside China, and cut the price of its predecessor by 11% to 119,800 yuan ($16,644).

A few days later, BYD also reduced the cost of the latest version of its cheapest car, the Seagull, by 5%. It is now priced at less than $10,000.

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Although Tesla also reduced prices of some models in China last year, the Model 3 and Model Y still sell for more than double BYD's prices.

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China is Tesla's largest market after the United States, accounting for 33% of global sales in 2023, according to UK-based consulting firm Raw Motion. The American company began production at its Gigafactory in Shanghai in 2019. Last year, that facility, Tesla's main export hub, delivered 947,000 vehicles.

BYD does not sell cars in the United States, although it has a bus manufacturing plant in California. Both Tesla and BYD are expanding beyond their home markets and investing in factories abroad.

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In 2023, a total of 13.6 million electric vehicles were produced (including battery-electric and hybrid vehicles). Sold worldwide, an increase of more than 30% compared to the previous year. The Chinese market grew by about 30% last year with 7.9 million units sold. Similar growth is expected in 2024, and sales are expected to reach 10 million in China alone, Raw Motion says.

BYD sold about 3 million electric cars, including hybrids, in 2023 globally. Of this number, 1.6 million were battery cars.

By comparison, Tesla, which does not sell hybrids, delivered a total of 1.8 million vehicles worldwide last year, representing about 19% of the global market for battery electric vehicles.

The United States and Canada bought about 700,000 Tesla cars, while 600,000 cars were sold in China. European sales accounted for about 400,000 cars.

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Tesla shares are down 29% so far this year, while BYD stock is down nearly 6%.

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