BYD's sales continued to grow in China, while Ford's sales declined in Europe and the US.
BYD (OTCMKTS: BYDDY) replaced Ford as the world's fourth best-selling auto brand last month, as the latter's sales slumped in Europe and the US, market research firm TrendForce said in a report today.
In August, vehicle sales in 37 markets worldwide totaled 5.55 million units, up about 1 percent from July, according to the report.
The composition of the top 10 auto brands was the same as last month, with Toyota, Volkswagen and Honda in the top three.
August is a slow month for the Japanese market, so the Japanese carmakers saw sales drop in their home countries. Overall, Toyota saw a 2.6 percent monthly decline, while Honda saw a slight growth of 0.8 percent.
Chinese automaker BYD replaced Ford as the fourth best-selling brand in August, TrendForce said, adding that poor domestic demand in China had less of an impact on BYD because it has switched all of its vehicle models to new energy vehicles (NEVs).
BYD's August sales were up 5 percent from the previous month, and its market share was just 0.1 percent shy of that of third-place Honda, the report said.
Given that markets including Southeast Asia contribute to Japanese automakers' sales, the key for BYD to overtake Honda in the global market is the speed of its expansion in overseas markets, TrendForce said.
Ford slipped to No. 6 as its European and US sales fell from the previous month, with sales declining 6.7 percent month-on-month.
While autumn model launches will help new car sales, there are still many variables everywhere, including the fact that the US United Auto Workers (UAW) strike has not yet ended, TrendForce noted.
China is incentivizing domestic demand through policies, but weather anomalies have been ongoing since the summer, impacting local sales, according to the report.
Overall, as the fourth quarter approaches, automakers will do their best to ensure smooth production, fulfill orders and stimulate year-end sales to cushion as much as possible the impact of reduced order visibility due to economic changes, TrendForce said.