BYD has hired 470,000 more employees in 5 years, nearly doubling Toyota’s workforce

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BYD is one of the fastest-growing companies in the global electric vehicle (EV) transformation wave. Recent data shows that their workforce now exceeds 700,000 people, nearly double that of automotive giant Toyota.

While the automotive industry’s success isn’t solely based on workforce size, creating job opportunities is a significant consideration for national policies, which is a key reason for supporting the automotive industry. In China, the three industries contributing the most to employment growth are automotive, electronics, and semiconductors, with the rapidly growing automotive sector being the main driver.

China has the highest EV adoption rate in the world, with 8.1 million new energy vehicles (pure electric and plug-in hybrids) registered in 2023, representing an annual growth rate of 35%. Additionally, China’s car exports increased to 4 million units, of which 1.2 million were new energy vehicles, showing an annual growth rate of 80%.

It might be hard to imagine Chinese-made cars posing a threat to Europe, but the truth is that China’s low-cost EVs have already made European car manufacturers nervous, leading to an ongoing price war. According to the International Energy Agency, at least two-thirds of vehicles are expected to see price reductions, with BYD leading this aggressive pricing strategy.

Interestingly, while Tesla has been cutting jobs to reduce costs, BYD has been increasing its workforce. Since 2019, BYD has hired 470,000 new workers, bringing its total number of employees to over 700,000, almost double Toyota’s 375,000 employees.

It should be noted that BYD’s large workforce isn’t just due to overstaffing or government mandates; it’s because they have a very high in-house production rate. BYD manufactures about 70% of the parts for their vehicles, including batteries, unlike Toyota’s extensive supplier network. Therefore, directly comparing the number of employees doesn’t accurately reflect the efficiency of each company’s workforce.

On the other hand, China’s low wages and long working hours are a powerful factor in reducing costs for Chinese car manufacturers. This is also one reason Tesla’s Shanghai Gigafactory can achieve such high production capacity.

BYD’s price-cutting strategy is ongoing. Their goal is not just to compete in the EV market but to bring EV prices down to the same level as traditional fuel vehicles, aiming to become the dominant player surpassing other joint venture car companies in China.

In 2023, BYD captured an 11% market share in China, overtaking Volkswagen, which had dominated for 15 years. With Volkswagen phasing out its classic models and the ID series performing poorly in China, the gap between BYD and its competitors is likely to widen further in 2024, making BYD the new leader in the Chinese car market.


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Mehmet S. Kaya
Mehmet S. Kayahttps://otonel.com
As an aircraft enthusiast, he loves to follow the industry closely since childhood. He has worked in automobile and aviation industry.

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