HomeStock MarketTSLA vs. BYDDY: The Battle for Electric Pickup Truck Supremacy

TSLA vs. BYDDY: The Battle for Electric Pickup Truck Supremacy

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China, the world’s largest and fiercely competitive EV market, saw a 38% surge in sales of “new energy vehicles” last year, totaling 9.49 million units. This accounted for nearly 70% of global EV sales, raising concerns among traditional automakers and Tesla, Inc.’s (TSLA) Elon Musk about China’s potential dominance.

Concurrently, BYD Company Limited (BYDDY), a Chinese EV giant, is set to unveil its first electrified pickup truck globally. Though details on powertrain, performance, and pricing remain undisclosed, BYDDY released images featuring an orange and blue camouflaged truck, signaling its entry into the new energy pickup segment.

Competing with TSLA’s Cybertruck, Ford Motor Company’s (F) Ranger and F-150 Lightning, and Toyota Motor Corporation’s (TM) Hilux, the upcoming BYDDY pickup marks a new frontier in the electric pickup market.

That said, TSLA’s Cybertruck, launched in November 2023, faces criticism for battery range discrepancies, premature breakdowns, and durability issues like rust and corrosion. Initially promised at $39,900 with a 500-mile range, TSLA’s Cybertruck now starts at $60,900, with deliveries pushed to 2025 due to production constraints.

Musk has admitted challenges in production, forecasting a financially challenging first year. Moreover, with the Cybertruck as its latest passenger vehicle since 2020, TSLA’s global expansion might stall, leaving markets outside North America waiting for new releases for years to come.

Financial Performance Comparison Between BYDDY and TSLA

In the final quarter of 2023, the Shenzhen-based carmaker saw a surge in net profit, surpassing TSLA to become the top seller of electric vehicles globally. Revenue soared by 49.8% year-over-year to ¥180.04 billion ($24.89 billion), with gross profit reaching ¥38.21 billion ($5.28 billion), a 78% increase year-over-year.

Additionally, BYDDY’s net income attributable to common stockholders reached ¥8.67 billion ($1.20 billion), up from ¥4.13 billion ($571.02 million) in the previous year’s quarter. Sales volume spiked by 38%, with over 526,000 EVs sold, nearly 80,000 more than TSLA’s sales.

BYDDY, for the second consecutive year, outpaced TSLA, producing 3 million new energy vehicles (NEVs) compared to Tesla’s 1.84 million. BYDDY’s cars, mostly priced lower than TSLA’s, offer hybrid and fully electric options, posing a significant threat to competitors, as acknowledged by Musk.

In the fiscal fourth quarter of 2023, TSLA’s total revenue increased 3% year-over-year to $25.17 billion. However, its gross profit declined 23.2% year-over-year to $4.44 billion. Its adjusted EBITDA decreased 26.9% from the year-ago value to $3.95 billion.

Moreover, the company’s non-GAAP net income and non-GAAP EPS attributable to common stockholders reduced 39.5% and 40.3% from the prior year’s period to $2.49 billion and $0.71, respectively.

Musk now recognizes BYDDY’s potential dominance in the EV market despite initial ridicule, foreseeing a scenario where they could outperform most other car companies globally. He said, “Frankly, if there are not trade barriers established, they will pretty much demolish most other car companies in the world.”

The Two Industry Giants’ Business Prospects and Challenges

BYDDY, while absent from the U.S. market, reaches more than 50 countries, concentrating efforts in Asia, South America, Australia, and selected European nations such as Hungary. Plans to unveil new models, including the $233,000 Yangwang U9 electric supercar, complement refreshed models like the e2 and Seagull electric hatchbacks.

Last year’s global sales saw notable NEV success across multiple nations. With over 242,000 units exported, BYDDY anticipates China’s NEV market surge in 2024, reinforcing its multi-brand strategy and global expansion objectives. Expansion ventures into Europe with a new Hungarian factory and successful deliveries also mark a pivotal moment in Central and Eastern European market development.

In South America, BYDDY aims to revitalize a former Ford manufacturing site in Brazil with a $620 million investment. Three Bahia factories will process locally sourced lithium and iron phosphate for vehicle production, enhancing regional presence. Future endeavors further include a prospective Mexican factory by next year’s end.

Additionally, BYD’s battery subsidiary, FinDreams, has partnered with Huaihai Holding Group to lead the sodium-ion battery supply for small electric cars. A Jiangsu production base near Xuzhou aims to revolutionize mass-market EV commercialization with cost-effective sodium-ion battery technology.

TSLA’s recent quarterly sales shortfall has affected Elon Musk’s reputation in China, the world’s largest automotive market. Its market share has shrunk significantly due to unprecedented local competition and declining consumer confidence. Despite being known as a disruptor with advanced technology, TSLA struggles with its limited lineup of the Model 3 sedan and Model Y SUV.

In contrast, competitors like BYDDY offer a wider range of vehicles with advanced features. From the affordable Seagull hatchback to the high-performance Yangwang U8 plug-in hybrid SUV, BYDDY presents a compelling array of options.

Globally, TSLA’s delivery of 386,810 vehicles in the first quarter falls significantly short of expectations. “It’s been an epic disaster, not just in terms of the delivery number, but the strategy,” Wedbush Securities Inc. analyst Dan Ives said. “This is probably one of the most challenging periods for Musk and Tesla in the last four or five years.”

Furthermore, the company’s reliance on BYDDY battery cells puts it at a disadvantage, as BYDDY’s in-house battery and semiconductor manufacturing capabilities give it an edge. BYDDY’s revolutionary Blade Battery, with an impressive 600 km range on a single charge, highlights TSLA’s struggles to remain competitive.

Bottom Line

In 2008, BYDDY introduced its inaugural plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, the F3DM, coinciding with Berkshire Hathaway’s $230 million investment. Since then, BYDDY has solidified its position as a dominant force in China’s EV market, consistently ranking among the top monthly EV sellers in the country.

Having conquered the Chinese market, BYDDY now sets its sights on global expansion, with a presence in at least 58 overseas markets, including Germany, Japan, Australia, and Thailand. Manufacturing facilities in Thailand and Brazil are underway, and commitments are being made to build in Hungary and Indonesia.

BYDDY’s latest ultra-cheap car enhances its competitiveness against TSLA, which still struggles with affordability. Yet, BYDDY’s product portfolio spans all market segments, evidenced by the unveiling of a supercar aimed at the premium end of the EV market spectrum.

Ending 2023 with record-breaking sales, surpassing 3 million annual sales and retaining its global NEV sales champion status for the second consecutive year, BYDDY has solidified its position as China’s best-selling car brand and manufacturer.

Analysts project robust growth for BYDDY in the fiscal year 2024, with its revenue and EPS expected to increase by 28.6% and 3.2% year-over-year, respectively, reaching $107.29 billion and $3.00.

In contrast, TSLA’s revenue for fiscal year 2024 is forecasted to grow 9.9% year-over-year to $106.30 billion, while its EPS is anticipated to decline by 8.4% to $2.86. Moreover, Tesla missed the consensus revenue and EPS estimates in three of the trailing four quarters, which is concerning.

Given this scenario, BYDDY could challenge TSLA’s dominance, making it an attractive investment opportunity in the current market landscape.

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