BYD Developing US Market Plans for $40K EV
Chinese battery/auto firm BYD has been on a roll since Warren Buffett took a ten percent stake in it last year. BYD recently snagged a technology-sharing agreement with VW, and just agreed to supply SAIC with its batteries. In fact, in the nine months since Buffett invested in BYD his $230 million investment has increased its value by an estimated $1 billion. Which is a good enough return for Buffett’s Berkshire-Hathaway Co-Chairman Charlie Munger to call BYD CEO Wang Chuan-Fu “a combination of Thomas Edison and Jack Welch—something like Edison in solving technical problems, and something like Welch in getting done what he needs to do. I have never seen anything like it.”
That’s high praise indeed, considering BYD’s problems actually selling its plug-ins in China (not to mention the disturbingly vague safety concerns). But now, the WSJ reports that BYD is “finalizing” plans to bring its E6 all-electric MPV to a “limited market” in the United States (read: California). The rumored price? Over $40,000. Which suddenly makes the Volt look a lot better. And makes us eagerly await the day when we can run a $40K comparison between a glorified Cruze and a Chinese Minivan. Surreal much?