BYD is becoming one of the most successful electric car makers in the world, and it just beat Tesla in sales in China for the month of November. However, much like some folks at Tesla have explained in the past, a BYD executive sees gas cars as its biggest competitor, not Tesla.
Since EVs still only make up just a small slice of the current automotive market, we often see them separated into their own independent category. Some organizations still give them their own awards and they're compared to one another when it comes to sales and market share, etc. However, these are all just cars we're talking about, they simply have various powertrains.
We've heard time and time again from the likes of Tesla, Ford, and others that it's not necessarily rival EVs that they're worried about, but rather, other cars in general. For example, for an EV like the Ford Mustang Mach-E to be considered a true success, it will arguably have to outsell and possibly eventually replace the gas-powered Mustang. Moreover, that transition will have to push rival sports cars and crossovers to transition to EVs that eventually outsell and potentially replace their gas-powered ancestors.
At any rate, according to a recent article published by Teslarati, BYD Executive Vice President Stella Li made some recent comments in reference to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. selling BYD shares. despite the company's recent successes. BYD feels Buffet still has confidence in the automaker. In fact, despite the recent sales, the firm still has about a $4.5 billion stake in BYD.
BYD sold nearly 114,000 EVs in China this November 2022 to Tesla's ~100,000. It was a new record for Tesla and may have come as a surprise to some people that BYD exceeded it. Regardless, Li recently made it clear that she doesn't consider Tesla as a direct rival. Sure, it's one of many competitors, but the BYD VP explained that Tesla is bringing attention to EVs and potentially helping BYD. She added:
“Our competition, maybe our enemy, is the combustion-engine car."
The BYD VP went on to say that the automaker is hoping to build a few automotive factories in Europe, and will also be buying its own ships to export its cars.