BYD outsells Tesla, celebrates by giving money to car dealers that hit targets

6 months, 1 week ago - 4 January 2024,
BYD outsells Tesla, celebrates by giving money to car dealers that hit targets
BYD, popular in its home market of China, overtook Tesla as the largest global producer of EVs

BYD has found success through more affordable offerings such as the $10,000 Seagull. WuYuan/Getty Images

  • BYD is reportedly giving local car dealers rewards for meeting their sales targets in 2023.
  • The Chinese EV maker will reportedly give dealers 666 yuan ($93) for every car they sold last year.
  • The bonuses come after BYD overtook Elon Musk's Tesla as the world's top-selling EV company. 

BYD just overtook Tesla to become the world's top seller of electric vehicles, and it's reportedly handing out rewards to its Chinese car dealers to celebrate.

The Chinese EV giant will hand out a total of up to two billion yuan ($281 million) to dealers that met their sales targets in 2023, according to a Reuters report. The news was first reported by Chinese media outlet Yicai.

These dealers will receive 666 yuan ($93) for every car they sold in 2023, according to two sources cited by Reuters. 666 is considered a highly auspicious number in Chinese culture.

It comes after BYD overtook Tesla as the largest global producer of EVs, with the Chinese firm delivering 526,409 cars in the fourth quarter of 2023 versus Tesla's 484,507.

BYD, which is backed by prolific investor Warren Buffett, has been able to challenge Tesla in the EV market by focusing on affordability. For example, the Chinese automaker launched its 'Seagull' EV, which costs 73,000 yuan (about $10,000) last year.

Chinese EV firms have been increasingly eyeing overseas expansion as their home market has become more competitive, raising fears that Western markets could be flooded with cheap Chinese electric vehicles.

The Financial Times previously reported that US officials had become alarmed over plans by BYD and fellow Chinese EV companies MG and Chery to build factories in Mexico, with lawmakers warning it could provide them with a "backdoor" to the US market.

After laughing off the threat of BYD over a decade ago, Musk has now changed his tune on Tesla's Chinese rivals. In an interview at the NYT's Dealbook Summit in November, he said that Chinese companies like BYD were the biggest threat to Tesla.

"By far Tesla's competition is in China. There's a lot of people out there who think that the top 10 car companies are going to be Tesla followed by nine Chinese car companies. I think they might not be wrong," Musk said.

BYD did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.

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