(Yicai Global) Nov. 9 -- BYD’s electric car sales gained more than three-and-a-half times in October from the same period last year, making the Chinese auto giant the most popular NEV brand in the country. But electric bus sales tanked as the pandemic chokes demand.
BYD sold 80,000 new energy passenger vehicles last month, almost 30,000 more than its closest rival US automaker Tesla, according to statistics released by the Shenzhen-based firm last week. In the first ten months, shipments more than tripled to 411,000 units.
However, zero-emission bus sales plummeted 44.3 percent to just 570 units. In the first 10 months, shipments were down 37.9 percent to 4,404 vehicles.
The sharp drop in bus sales has to do with the effect of the pandemic on urban public transport and tourism, Zhong Weiping, secretary-general of China Commercial Vehicles Dealers Association, told Yicai Global. Fiscal funds have become tighter and the tourism sector has yet to fully recover, resulting in smaller procurement budgets from these two main customer segments, he added.
Sales fell across the new energy bus sector by an average of 22.2 percent in the first three quarters from a year earlier to 25,000 units, according to bus news site 360buses.
The push to go green has also meant that over half of all buses are now new energy ones, so there is less demand than before, Zhong said. In addition, BYD’s pricing is not competitive as its buses have a large battery capacity. Price-sensitive customers may choose cheaper models with smaller batteries, he added.
Editors: Tang Shihua, Kim Taylor