Wednesday, January 3, 2024

"China could be on track to dominate the world’s EV market, even if not in the U.S."

Elon Musk, who seems to have some insight into the industry, says there will be 10 surviving manufacturers, 9 of them Chinese.*

From MarketPlace, January 2:

There’s a new frontrunner in the clean vehicle race, and it’s a brand Americans might not have heard of. Chinese automaker BYD — a company, by the way, backed by Warren Buffett — announced its sales results for the end of the year Monday.

While BYD sells both hybrids and pure electrics, the company likely beat Tesla in total vehicle sales last year, which would make it the global leader in what the Chinese call “new energy vehicles.” That’s largely thanks to sales inside China — the world’s biggest auto market.

About 1 of every 3 cars sold in China is an EV, and the competition is fierce. There are dozens of major brands making big ones, small ones, luxury ones and very cheap ones, with the lowest price tag coming in at around $10,000, said Tu Le of Sino Auto Insights.

“What I would like to clear up is that these products from the Chinese brands are, like, cheap. As in, they’re, like, knockoffs. And that’s not the case,” he said.

Right now, none of these brands is sold in the U.S. But bigger names like BYD and Nio have been pushing into Asia, South America and Europe....

*Here's December 8's "Western Legacy Automakers Probably Won't Be Long-Term Survivors":

Because their current business is being mandated and legislated out of existence the Western marques, barring some serious breakthroughs in small-scale hydrogen or methanol, will have to pivot to EV's. 

And they won't be able to compete.

It almost appears that the gifting of the electric vehicle and solar industries to the Chinese was deliberate. 

First up, from Electrical Engineering Times, December 6:

Experts See Rapid Rise of Chinese EV Makers
Chinese companies will lead the global electric vehicle (EV) industry in the next 10 years by selling cars for prices unheard of outside China, according to experts interviewed by EE Times.

China’s domestic sales of EVs so far in 2023, at about 8 million units, are nearly double the 4.5 million sold in the rest of the world, according to Sandy Munro, an automotive engineer who founded industry consultancy Munro & Associates. BYD (Build Your Dreams), a publicly listed Chinese manufacturer, this year became the world’s largest EV maker, overtaking Tesla, he said.

BYD will eventually be “the biggest car company in the world,” Munro said. “Bigger than Volkswagen, bigger than General Motors, bigger than Toyota.”

While Western nations accuse China of EV dumping, about 40 of the surviving startups in the world’s largest car market are ramping up production to meet an expected surge in demand. China has led the rest of the world with an estimated $14 billion in EV subsidies since 2009.

Munro predicted that, by 2028, about half of the cars sold worldwide will be EVs. Sweden and Norway have become trendsetters by phasing out internal combustion engines (ICE) cars, he noted.

Chinese automakers will capture more of the global market, particularly in key countries like India that are unlikely to build EV industries in the near term, said Paul Triolo, who advises tech companies at Albright Stonebridge Group.

Developing nations will welcome lower-priced EVs from Chinese manufacturers as they try to meet climate targets, he added.

In China, EV prices are far lower than in the rest of the world. BYD’s Seagull EV, introduced in April, sells for about $11,000. That’s less than half the $26,838 “Model 2” EV that Tesla plans to make at a factory in Germany. The typical price for an EV in the U.S. today is about $50,000, Munro said.

BYD has expanded sales into Norway, Denmark and the UK, as well as Thailand and Australia. The company hasn’t entered the U.S. Tense relations between the U.S. and China and President Joe Biden’s push to build EVs in the U.S. have delayed BYD’s entry to the second-largest automobile market after China, according to a Reuters report.

For now, the EV price war is confined primarily to China, where BYD and Tesla are the top EV competitors.

“Tesla’s been talking about a $25,000 EV someday,” said Bill Russo, the CEO of Shanghai-based consultant Automobility. “Volkswagen’s saying ‘Let’s set a target for eventually making €25,000 [$ 27,000] EVs.’ Well, they haven’t done that yet. I can get an EV here for less than half the price.”

BYD and Tesla didn’t respond to EE Times’ requests for comment on this article.

Arrested development...


And at Fortune, November 30:

Elon Musk suggests Tesla and 9 Chinese companies will be the top 10 carmakers
Tesla CEO sees big things ahead for China's electric-vehicle makers 

In 2011, Elon Musk ridiculed the quality of electric vehicles made by China’s BYD. Then he admitted this May that “their cars are highly competitive these days.” Now, the Tesla CEO is amping up his praise of Chinese EV makers.

“The Chinese car companies are extremely competitive,” Musk said at this week’s New York Times Dealbook conference. “China is super good at manufacturing, and the work ethic is incredible.” 

He even went so far as to suggest that the top 10 automakers of the future might be mostly Chinese ones—although he still envisions Tesla sitting atop them all.

“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,” he said at the conference. “I think they might not be wrong.” 

In the case of BYD, its manufacturing prowess had long impressed Berkshire Hathaway vice chairman Charlie Munger, who passed away this week. While Berkshire generally steers clear of the auto industry—it declined to invest in Tesla—Munger led an enormously successful investment in BYD. He called the carmaker’s founder and CEO Wang Chuanfu a “natural engineer,” adding that “the guy at BYD is better at actually making things than Elon is.”

‘Demolish the old legends’....
Of course the big media takeaway from the DealBook conference was Musk's F*** You to Disney et al.