The Chinese are coming…or have they already arrived? Established EV brands fear (or if they don’t, they should) that Chinese firms will start cutting into their market share. In at least one global market, this may already be happening.
The Driven reports that in Australia, EV sales have already hit a milestone in 2023, surpassing 80,000 vehicles, or 7.2% of the total new car market, a significant rise from the previous year. A substantial number of these were new Chinese EVs, which grabbed nearly a 30% market share in the month of November.
Tesla’s Model Y still took the top spot in November, with 36% of all EV sales in Australia. However, a Chinese offering—the newly launched MG4—knocked Model 3 out of second place, and Tesla’s overall EV market share fell to 46% for the month.\
The Chinese wolf isn’t scratching at Tesla’s corporate door just yet—on a year-to-date basis, the American automaker still dominates the market. Models Y and 3 combined represent 55% of total EV sales in Australia this year. But November’s 46% was Tesla’s second-lowest monthly market share in since Aussie EV-watchers started watching.
Could this be a sign of things to come? And could the same trend emerge in the US? Morgan Stanley reports that Tesla’s EV market share in the US fell from 62% a year ago to 52% in November. So far, Chinese automakers have far less presence in the States than they do in Australia and Europe, so other factors are surely at play. But one thing is the same all over the world: buyers crave more low-priced EV options, and Chinese brands aim to fill the gap.
Chinese car maker BYD, which is running neck-and-neck with Tesla for the title of top global EV-seller, is selling the Atto 3 and the new Dolphin in Australia, and the (now) China-owned MG is seeing early success with its MG4. The Driven reports that three new under-$40,000 EVs are on their way to the Down Under market.
BYD has been building and selling electric buses in the US for several years. It isn’t selling cars here yet, but it’s circling—this year, its Yuan (aka Atto) went on sale in Mexico, Colombia and Brazil.
Source: The Driven