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BYD Auto Co., Ltd. is a Chinese automobile manufacturer based in Xi’an, Shaanxi Province, and a wholly owned subsidiary of BYD Company. It was founded in January 2003, following BYD Company’s acquisition of Tsinchuan Automobile Company in 2002. Its principal activity is the design, development, manufacture and distribution of automobiles, buses, electric bicycles, forklifts, rechargeable batteries and trucks sold under the BYD brand.
Wang Chuanfu (Chairman)
Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
BYD Co Ltd created the wholly owned subsidiary BYD Auto a year after its 2002 acquisition of the Norinco-owned Qinchuan Machinery Works, which may have been made solely to acquire the passenger car production license held by the purchased company. Qinchuan, who also used the Xian, Beifan, and Fuxing trade names, had already rented out their license to Beijing Zhonghua Automobile Industry Company for building their plastic-bodied QCJ7090 car. Qinchuan’s best-known product is the QCJ7181 Flyer, which was later sold as the “BYD Flyer.” While the Chinese state is credited with development of an indigenous auto industry, BYD Auto may have been created in the absence of a State policy explicitly supporting independently owned automobile manufacturers.
In 2008, BYD Auto began selling its first mass-produced, plug-in hybrid vehicle, the BYD F3DM. China subsidizes oil (an incentive for the State to encourage use and manufacture of electric cars). In late December 2008, Warren Buffett spent $230 million on the acquisition of a 10% stake in BYD Auto’s parent, BYD Company. In 2009, the company sold 448,400 cars in China, and two-thirds of sales were its BYD F3 model. In the same year, BYD began the export of its cars to Africa, South America, and the Middle East.
Some of its first all-electric vehicles were offered via fleet sales to government buyers in China. The BYD Qin plug-in hybrid, launched in the Chinese market in December 2013, ranked as the top selling plug-in electric car in China in 2014. The car also ranked seventh among the world’s top 10 best selling plug-in cars in 2014. In 2015, the Qin remained as the top selling passenger new energy vehicle in China. The BYD Qin was the world’s second best selling plug-in hybrid car in 2015 and also ranked fifth in 2015 among the world’s top selling plug-in electric cars. Three BYD Auto models topped the Chinese ranking of best-selling new energy passenger cars in 2016. The BYD Tang plug-in hybrid SUV was the top selling plug-in car with 31,405 units delivered, followed by the BYD Qin (21,868), and the BYD e6 (20,605). As of December 2016, the BYD Qin, with 68,655 units sold since its inception, remained the all-time top selling plug-in electric car in the country.
As of 2015, BYD was in the process of opening its first passenger car factory in Brazil to focus on supplying electric vehicles for taxis and car-sharing schemes. On July 1, 2015, BYD Auto announced its withdrawal from Russian operations due to the war in Ukraine and the ruble dropping for its bad sales.
BYD ended 2015 as the world’s top selling manufacturer of highway legal light-duty plug-in electric vehicles, with 61,772 passenger vehicles sold, mostly plug-in hybrids. Accounting for heavy-duty vehicles, BYD total sales rises to 69,222 units. BYD continued as the world’s top selling plug-in car manufacturer in 2016 with over 100,000 units sold, up 64% from 2015. BYD sold more than 100,000 new energy passenger cars in China in 2016. The BYD Tang was the top selling plug-in car in China in 2016 with 31,405 units delivered.
BYD net profits jumped 552.6% in 2015 to a total of 2.829 billion rmb. Sales of new energy vehicles were the main driver for BYD’s huge profit increase, with alternative energy vehicles accounting for half of BYD’s profits while the same share in 2014 was just 27%. Samsung Electronics invested $450 million in BYD in 2016. In September 2016, BYD Auto became the third largest global plug-in car manufacturer with cumulative sales of 161,000 plug-in cars since 2008. In October 2016, became the world’s second largest plug-in electric passenger car manufacturer with more than 171,000 units delivered in China. BYD is an abbreviation for “Build Your Dreams” which is also a company slogan.