For decades, financial experts in China did not consider Wang Chuanfu, an entrepreneur in the field of environmental technology and chief executive officer of the BYD (Build Your Dreams) battery and electric vehicle company, influential in the global automotive industry. Nine years ago, Warren Buffett bought 10% of BYD shares, correcting the injustice. But gasoline cars continued to dominate not only in China but throughout the world. As a result of which Wang found himself in the shadow of the heads of other corporations: Renault — Carlos Ghosn, General Motors — Mary Barra, and Volkswagen — Matthias Muller.
But now, 22 years after the company was founded, BYD became the largest seller of electric vehicles in China. Its shares returned to cosmic levels. In September, the government announced that it had begun work on a schedule. They planned to stop the production and sale of fossil-fueled vehicles. It also promulgated an emissions trading program. It should force car manufacturers with a gasoline engine to buy credits from electric vehicle manufacturers or make their efforts to create such vehicles. In any case, BYD is in favor.
Build Your Dreams
Since August, BYD shares, sold in Hong Kong, have increased by 44%, to about 70 Hong Kong dollars ($ 8.97). According to analyst JPMorgan Chase & Co. Nika Laya can still rise by almost 40%.
Wang is often called the Chinese Elon Musk. It will be more accurate to say that Musk is the American Wang Chuanfu. He became famous, putting on the possibility of using lithium-ion batteries for power vehicles and rejecting the centennial suffocating internal combustion engine. But Wang was still ahead of the American innovator. He started his business as a manufacturer of batteries for cell phones and building his first large-scale car factory in 2003. He sold his first production EV in 2008. Then in the same year built his first solar panel factory and in 2009 began production of electric commercial buses. While Tesla Inc. only introduced its first EV in 2008 and started working on solar batteries in 2016.
Moreover, Wang is the undisputed leader in two key indicators: car sales and profits. Last year in China, BYD sold 100,183 vehicles for new energy (the Chinese term for EV and hybrids), and its electric buses operate in 200 cities around the world. Tesla sold 76,230 electric vehicles around the world and had not even started selling trucks or buses on new energy. BYD increased net profit by 79 percent, to 5.1 billion yuan ($ 768 million) last year and never recorded a loss. Fourteen-year-old Tesla has not yet made a profit, as she invests heavily in the development of the product.
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Previous business of Wang
But earlier, when in 2003 Wang said that his phone-battery business was going to acquire an automaker, investors began to run without looking back. The stocks fell 31% in three days. Five years later, BYD’s compact F3 was the best-selling model in China. The company began selling its first two-system cars with a hybrid powerplant. Also in 2008, MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., owned by Buffett, entered into a deal to acquire 10% of BYD for 1.8 billion Hong Kong dollars ($ 232 million).
In 2008, the total sales of new cars in China totaled only 24,000 units, but by 2015, BYD expanded. It starting to produce electric buses, autoloaders, road sweepers and light trucks. A year later, Samsung paid RMB 3 billion ($ 449 million) for a 2% stake in BYD. It is a nearly double investment by Buffett for one-fifth of the Chinese company.
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