Competition in the global EV battery market has been intensifying. Case in point, according to Korean energy research consultancy SNE Research, the three major Korean EV battery manufacturers saw their market shares plummet in January and February this year under mounting pressure from Chinese competitors, among which CATL and BYD saw significant growths. Incidentally, the latest word on the street is that BYD will completely revamp its existing sales strategy and start selling its in-house automotive li-ion batteries in 2H21.
In addition to manufacturing automotive li-ion batteries for use in its own vehicles, BYD has historically supplied batteries exclusively to its jointly funded automakers and to the commercial vehicle sectors. Making these batteries available for sale to third parties is practically unheard of. However, the Nikkei recently reported that, by selling its automotive li-ion batteries to other automakers, BYD is intending to expand its battery manufacturing operations and strengthen its position as a component procurer. Once BYD has raised its battery production capacity, the company will in turn be able to raise its manufacturing efficiency as well.
Furthermore, BYD’s shift in business strategy also points to its intention to dominate the competition, namely, CATL and LG Chem.
More specifically, Nikkei claims that BYD will sell its batteries to third-party automakers via its subsidiary Fudi Battery, though details regarding potential clients, pricing, and sales targets remain scarce at the moment.
Even before BYD’s upcoming business model comes to fruition, the company is already the fourth largest automotive battery manufacturers in the world by production capacity, with a market share of just under 10%. However, whether the automotive battery market will undergo any changes due to BYD’s more aggressive approach remains to be seen.