Buffett Bucks Boosts BYD Chinese Hybrid

buffett bucks boosts byd chinese hybrid

Battery maker and hybrid powertrain dark horse BYD got quite a legitimacy boost when the Oracle of Omaha (and possible Obama cabinet member) Warren Buffett dropped $230m on ten percent of its stock. And that boost seems to be translating into accelerated plans to bring BYD cars to market. China Car Times reports that BYD will begin selling its “dual mode” (not to be confused with GM’s disasterous “two-mode”) hybrids (specifically, the Toyota Corolla F3DM compact) before the end of the year, several months before the previously-publicized release date. No plans have been announced to accelerate European sales, set to begin in 2010. And U.S. sales are still a gleam in Warren Buffett’s shrewd eye. BYD hybrids have been extensively tested in China, and the firm claims that its proprietary batteries are good for 62 mile of plug-in charge and will last over 300k miles before needing to be replaced. The parallel/serial hybrids can be charged to 50 percent of capacity in ten minutes, while a 100 percent charge takes seven hours, according to BYD. If these numbers hold up and quality is up to snuff, BYD could soon be a big name in the hybrid game. After all, Ma Buffett didn’t raise any fools.

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  • BerettaGTZ BerettaGTZ on Oct 16, 2008

    Their cars may not be up to global standards, but if the hybrid technology is as good as they claim it to be, they could sell or license powertrains and batteries to other OEM's. Imagine this system in a plug-in hybrid Civic.

  • Shaker Shaker on Oct 17, 2008

    The legendary Chinese reputation for safety can only be furthered by selling a car that could catch on fire and burn the occupants to cinders within seconds. (I'll have my coffee with melamine, please). I heard that Buffet was on TV saying "Buy American" (stocks) - there ya go. He may own a Cadillac, but how much GM paper?

  • Geotpf Geotpf on Oct 17, 2008
    shaker : October 17th, 2008 at 7:33 am The legendary Chinese reputation for safety can only be furthered by selling a car that could catch on fire and burn the occupants to cinders within seconds. (I’ll have my coffee with melamine, please). I heard that Buffet was on TV saying “Buy American” (stocks) - there ya go. He may own a Cadillac, but how much GM paper? He owns zero stock in any American car companies, because he's not an idiot. He did write an article that is in yesterday's New York Times that stated he was moving all his personal holdings that isn't currently in Berkshire stock from US government bonds to stocks in American companies. http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/17/opinion/17buffett.html?_r=1&em&oref=slogin As for his company, Berkshire owns very few foreign companies or stocks-almost all their holdings are in domestic companies. This is one of the few exceptions.

  • Shaker Shaker on Oct 17, 2008

    Geotpf: Thanks for the link -- This guy seems like he's "walking the walk", and his move may help to settle things down a bit. Cooler heads may prevail...

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