AutosChina's BYD topples Volkswagen's two-decade reign as their sales surge in shaky 2023

China's BYD topples Volkswagen's two‑decade reign as their sales surge in shaky 2023

Volkswagen Factory in China
Volkswagen Factory in China
Images source: © Press materials | Volkswagen
3:44 PM EST, January 24, 2024

Since the start of the 21st century, China has become a linchpin in Volkswagen's global sales strategy. The German vehicle manufacturer progressively increased its stakes in the Chinese market, swiftly securing its position at the helm.

By 2008, it boasted a 14-percent stake in the local market. For perspective, Toyota, the runner-up, managed just under 8 percent. The scenario looked rather stable for the next several years – that is, until 2020 hit, and China's BYD company became a significant player.

The sales surge for the local conglomerate was nothing short of explosive. In a span of just three years, BYD outdid Changan, Honda, Toyota, and Volkswagen. 2023 culminated in their triumphant victory, with 2.4 million registered cars and an 11-percent share of the market.

Chart of the percentage share of corporations in the Chinese automotive market
Chart of the percentage share of corporations in the Chinese automotive market© Bloomberg

Simultaneously, Volkswagen, which had been suffering declining performances since 2019, officially slipped to the second position. This momentous shift marks a crucial juncture and reaffirms China's pivotal role in the contemporary automobile industry. Regardless of personal preferences, judging by the current momentum, it seems likely that the year 2024 will see even higher accolades for the Chinese industry.

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