Monday, March 15, 2010

"Buffett-Backed BYD’s Profit Almost Quadruples as Car Sales Rise" (BRK-B; 1211:HK)

A couple indicators of our changing economic landscape.
From Bloomberg:
BYD Co., the Chinese carmaker backed by Warren Buffett, almost quadrupled earnings last year as consumers took advantage of government incentives to buy its F3 compact cars.

Net income rose to 3.79 billion yuan ($555 million) from 1.02 billion yuan a year earlier, the Shenzhen-based company said today in a statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange. Sales increased 47 percent to 39.5 billion yuan.

The F3 was last year’s best-selling model in China, the world’s biggest automobile market, helping make BYD the nation’s fastest-growing carmaker with sales surging 162 percent to 448,397 vehicles. China’s industrywide auto demand jumped 46 percent to a record in 2009.

“BYD and other automakers will have slower sales and profit growth this year given that demand is rising at a slower pace,” said Yin Guohui, an analyst at BOCOM International Holdings Co. in Beijing.

BYD, a battery maker that entered the automobile market in 2003, teamed up with German luxury-car manufacturer Daimler AG this month to develop and sell electric vehicles in China. It is also expanding into Europe and the U.S. to take advantage of higher demand for alternative-energy cars in developed markets....MORE

From Xinhua:

Authorities in California wooing China BYD automaker

A China automaker has made headlines in California as it is considering locating its U.S. office and assembly line in the state, local media reported on Tuesday.

The office and assembly line are expected to create high-paying jobs in a state hard-hit by the recent recession.

The Chinese automaker BYD, or Build Your Dreams, may really build a dream in California after it has teamed up with German automaking giant Daimler-Benz to manufacture an A-class electric vehicle.

As one of the world's largest rechargeable battery and consumer electronics makers, BYD entered the U.S. market this year with its electric car model BYD e6 through the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

The first batch of such cars is to hit markets in Europe, the United States and China as early as next year.

Morale-boosted by the BYD intention, local authorities from both the Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City reportedly met BYD executives to woo the firm to locate its office and assembly line on their premises.

Several other places including Long Beach and Lancaster have also joined the race to attract the attention of China's fourth biggest carmaker.

"It would be a tremendous boost to our economy and economic growth and prosperity," said Tony Bell, spokesman for Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich....MORE