In January 2024, BYD surpasses Tesla for the first time in Australia, but there’s a catch.

BYD beats Tesla in electric car sales last month in Australia

Chinese car giant BYD has taken the lead in the electric car sales race in Australia for the first time, after becoming the world’s biggest seller of battery electric vehicles in the final months of last year. In January 2024, the company outsold Tesla in Australia, marking a monumental shift in the market. However, the victory may be short-lived, as Tesla faced challenges that impacted its sales performance last month.

Tesla’s Sales Challenges

Tesla suffered from a lack of inventory in January, with a shipment of Model Y SUVs being returned to China after stink bugs were found on board. This unexpected setback caused disruptions in the company’s supply chain and logistics, leading to delays in Model 3 deliveries for nine days. As a result, Tesla’s overall sales were significantly impacted, allowing BYD to take the lead in the market.

BYD’s Sales Performance

BYD reported that it sold 1,310 new vehicles in Australia last month. This included 465 Atto 3 SUVs, 256 Dolphin hatchbacks, and 589 Seal sedans. On the other hand, Tesla sold 1,107 vehicles, with 723 Model 3s and 384 Model Ys. While BYD’s victory is a significant milestone, it falls short of the company’s previous delivery record of 1,532 vehicles in June 2023. Meanwhile, Tesla’s best monthly delivery result in Australia occurred in June 2023 when it reported 7,018 vehicles sold.

Sales Comparison

Last year, Tesla reported 46,116 vehicle deliveries in Australia, compared to 12,438 deliveries by BYD. Despite its lower sales volume, BYD only had one model on sale for nine months of the year, highlighting the company’s potential for growth in the market. January 2024 marked Tesla’s lowest monthly sales result in Australia since July 2022, when the company recorded just four deliveries following a COVID-19 outbreak that led to the closure of its Shanghai factory.

Impact on Electric Car Market

Tesla’s sales decline had a notable impact on the electric car market in Australia. Electric cars accounted for 5.4% of new vehicle sales last month, or 7.3% of passenger car and SUV sales, down from 7.3% and 9.8% in December 2023. The decline in electric car sales was reflective of Tesla’s performance, indicating the significant influence the company has on the overall market.

Tesla’s Future Outlook

Despite the challenges it faced in January, Tesla sales are expected to bounce back in the coming months. Deliveries of the updated Model 3 are anticipated to increase as compliance issues are resolved. Additionally, efforts are underway to address the incident involving the stink bug-infested shipment, which will enable Tesla to replenish its inventory and resume normal sales operations in the Australian market.

BYD’s Expansion Plans

Meanwhile, BYD is set to introduce a plug-in hybrid vehicle and a mid-size SUV before the end of this year. The company’s expansion efforts align with its growing presence in the Australian electric car market and its ambitions to further establish itself as a key player in the industry.


The shift in the electric car sales landscape in Australia, with BYD surpassing Tesla in January 2024, underscores the evolving nature of the market. As competition intensifies and market dynamics change, it will be interesting to see how both companies adapt to capture the growing demand for electric vehicles in the Australian market.

Author’s Biography

The article is written by Alex Misoyannis, an experienced automotive journalist with a deep passion for cars. Throughout his career, Alex has covered various aspects of the automotive industry, including electric vehicles, performance cars, and market trends. His experience and insights contribute to a comprehensive understanding of the developments in the electric car market and provide valuable perspectives for readers.

In conclusion, the changing dynamics in the electric car market in Australia reflects the rapid evolution of the industry. As the competition between BYD and Tesla continues to unfold, the market is poised for further growth and innovation in the months and years to come.