Shenzhen-based electric vehicle giant BYD Co. is now the world’s third most valuable listed carmaker, according to the most recent figures provided by CompaniesMarketCap.com, which tracks fluctuations in the market capitalizations of listed firms around the world.
BYD overtook Volkswagen AG in the ranking of the world’s most valuable automakers with a market value of US$127.32 billion, while the German group, valued at US$114.27 billion, dropped to fourth place. With a market value of US$742.46 billion, Elon Musk’s Tesla Inc. is a runaway leader on the list, followed by Japan’s Toyota Corp., valued at US$228.44 billion.
It is not the first time that BYD, backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, has squeezed into the top three on the list. The Chinese firm beat out Volkswagen to claim the third spot Nov. 22 last year.
BYD’s Shenzhen-listed shares have gained more than 50% so far this year since hitting the year-to-date low level of 209.43 yuan (US$31.37) in mid-March. The stock rose 3.98% to close at 327.41 yuan yesterday, well on track to beat the all-time high of 333.33 yuan hit Oct. 26 last year.
The strong showing of BYD’s shares yesterday was, at least, boosted by comments made by Lian Yubo, BYD’s executive vice president, that the company is set to supply batteries to Tesla “very soon.”
“We are now good friends with Elon Musk because we are preparing to supply batteries to Tesla very soon,” Lian told leading Chinese television broadcaster China Global Television Network (CGTN) in a video released yesterday.
There has long been market speculation that BYD is likely to ink a battery supply deal with Tesla and neither party has ever confirmed talks. Currently, China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. (CATL), South Korea’s LG Energy Solution Ltd. and Japan’s Panasonic Holdings Corp. are among Tesla’s battery suppliers.
BYD, which also makes batteries for electric vehicles, accounted for 32% of all batteries installed in electric vehicles in China in April, trailing CATL, which accounted for 38%, data from the China Automotive and Battery Innovation Alliance showed.
BYD’s A shares also jumped 5.72% Monday after the firm reported stellar sales figures for May after the market closed the previous trading session. Sales of new energy vehicles, which include electric cars and plug-in hybrids, more than tripled in May to 114,943 from 32,800 a year earlier, beating April’s 106,042, and marked the third consecutive month of the firm’s sales topping 100,000.
The firm’s sales in the first five months of the year soared 348.1% year on year to 507,314 units, showing no signs of an industry disruption from COVID-related lockdowns in Shanghai, rising materials costs and a global chip shortage that bogged down the auto industry for almost two years.
BYD’s strong sales figures came as electric vehicles are gaining increasing popularity in China, especially among young drivers, in recent years.
Electric car sales are rocketing in China’s roughly US$500 billion auto market, the world’s biggest. In the first four months of 2022, the number of new energy passenger cars more than doubled from a year earlier to 1.49 million cars, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM).
Overall, vehicle sales in the first four months of 2022 were down 12% from the same period a year earlier, the CAAM said.