(New York) Chinese manufacturer BYD has overtaken its American competitor Tesla by delivering more electric vehicles in the fourth quarter of 2023 worldwide, a pole position that it should maintain thanks to the strong support of the Chinese authorities which is boosting the local market.

The American manufacturer announced on Tuesday that it had delivered 484,507 electric vehicles in the last quarter of 2023, placing it, for the first time, in second position behind BYD.

BYD (“Build Your Dreams”) is one of the most prominent electric vehicle brands in China. The group stopped producing cars with combustion engines in 2022 to focus on hybrid and electric models.

It delivered 526,409 electric vehicles between October and December 2023, according to calculations made by AFP with data published in press releases from the Chinese group.

Asked by AFP on this subject, Tesla did not react immediately.

On the other hand, over the year as a whole, the American group retained its first place with 1.81 million vehicles delivered worldwide, an increase of 38% over one year, when BYD gave their owners 1 .57 million vehicles (73%).

“BYD has a structural advantage in that much of its expansion benefits from very strong support from the Chinese government for electric vehicles,” Neil Saunders, director of Globaldata, commented to AFP.

“This helps boost domestic demand which, in turn, strengthens BYD’s position in the export market,” he noted.

According to him, Tesla “remains a major player in the electric vehicle market” but the group “will face a lot more competition from China this year”.

Tesla warned on October 2 that its production and delivery volumes were affected in the third quarter by planned maintenance operations.

But the shutdown of its American factories in Austin and Chinese factories in Shanghai lasted longer than expected.

When presenting its third-quarter results on October 18, Tesla said it wanted to increase production “as quickly as possible,” warning that “some years we may grow faster and others slower.” .

The group launched deliveries of its long-awaited Cybertruck at the end of November, an electric pick-up with a futuristic silhouette which was unveiled in November 2019.

“I think this is our best product,” exclaimed Elon Musk, boss of Tesla, when handing over the first pick-ups to their owners on November 30.

It’s “the most exceptional object on the road. The future will finally look like the future,” he added.

According to him, the order book already exceeded one million examples and production should reach 250,000 pickups in 2025.

No details are provided regarding this vehicle in the data released Tuesday.

Between October and December, Tesla produced 494,989 vehicles, bringing the full year total to 1,845,985 vehicles (35%).

It had set itself the goal of producing 1.8 million vehicles in 2023, which it confirmed again in mid-October despite its difficulties in the third quarter.

For its part, BYD produced 518,974 vehicles in the fourth quarter, according to AFP calculations. The manufacturer announced in a press release that it produced 1.59 million electric vehicles over the entire year (73%).

The group based in Shenzhen (south), which counts Warren Buffett among its shareholders, crossed the symbolic threshold of five million electric vehicles produced in October.

Around 12:15 p.m. (Eastern time), Tesla shares were up slightly (0.09%) on the New York Stock Exchange.