BYD sees elec­tric-car sales tripling in mar­ket cov­eted by Tesla

The Pak Banker - - COMPANIES/BOSS -

BEI­JING: BYD Co., the War­ren Buf­fett-backed Chi­nese car-and-bat­tery man­u­fac­turer, may boost de­liv­er­ies of elec­tric ve­hi­cles by as much as three times this year in its home mar­ket, un­der­scor­ing the ris­ing de­mand that's prompt­ing Tesla Mo­tors Inc. to step up its ex­pan­sion.

BYD may sell as many as 150,000 new-en­ergy ve­hi­cles this year, com­pared with the 58,000 it de­liv­ered in 2015, Chair­man Wang Chuanfu said at a brief­ing in Hong Kong. The com­pany surged the most in more than five months in in­tra­day trad­ing in Hong Kong af­ter pre­dict­ing first-quar­ter profit may rise more than 50 per­cent from a year ear­lier.

China has stepped up the build­ing of charg­ing in­fra­struc­ture and rolled out in­cen­tives to en­cour­age au­tomak­ers and con­sumers to switch to elec­tric ve­hi­cles as part of a broader ini­tia­tive to mit­i­gate the toll that ris­ing car own­er­ship is ex­act­ing on the en­vi­ron­ment. In­dus­try­wide EV sales surged more than three­fold to 331,000 units last year as the gov­ern­ment pushes to reach its tar­get of hav­ing five mil­lion of the ve­hi­cles on its roads by the end of the decade.

"The Chi­nese gov­ern­ment has more com­pre­hen­sive pol­icy sup­port on new-en­ergy cars than other gov­ern­ments, lead­ing to the in­dus­try's ex­plo­sive devel­op­ment last year," said Wang. "The rapid growth will re­main from 2016 to 2018."

BYD, which counts Buf­fett's Berk­shire Hath­away Inc. as a share­holder, re­ported full-year net in­come rose al­most sev­en­fold to 2.82 bil­lion yuan ($433 mil­lion) from a year ear­lier. Its sales of new-en­ergy ve­hi­cles, the term China uses to de­scribe elec­tric ve­hi­cles and plug-in gaso­line-elec­tric au­tos, jumped three times to 58,000 units last year.

For Tesla, the ris­ing sales of bat­tery-pow­ered cars sig­nal a ris­ing ac­cep­tance by con­sumers for elec­tric cars. The au­tomaker said last month that it has started tak­ing or­ders for its Model X in China with de­liv­er­ies to be­gin in the sec­ond quar­ter, giv­ing cus­tomers in the world's largest auto mar­ket ac­cess to the new sport util­ity ve­hi­cle be­fore it de­buts in Europe.

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