BYD, amid EV push worldwide, eyes U.S. with caution

In the medium term, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD aims to sell more than 3 million cars and light trucks worldwide annually, two of the sources said.

BYD did not respond to a request for comment on sales targets.

Global consultancy LMC Automotive doesn’t think the idea of ​​selling more than 3 million cars by 2030 is exaggerated, but says most sales will still take place in China.

LMC said BYD’s ability to offer globally attractive and affordable full EVs in mainstream and premium markets made its sales targets credible.

Zhang Wei, founder of Yuanhao Capital Management and BYD’s 10th largest shareholder as of the first quarter of 2022, believes BYD’s prospects are even better.

He told Reuters that the 3 million target is achievable by around 2025 and that BYD should be able to sell 10 million cars a year by the early 2030s.

Zhang, who began buying a sizable stake in BYD around 2015, told Reuters that the company’s chairman, Elon Musk, a vertically integrated, cost-competitive electric car maker, is still struggling to achieve. He said he liked the company because it created stuff.

Unlike many of its rivals, BYD can single-handedly meet most of its battery and EV system needs. Zhang said the company sources some of its key battery materials from mines in China and manufactures its own batteries and semiconductors, including power management chips, a key component of EVs.

“They can build almost everything on their cars themselves, except for the windshield and tires. They have their own construction company that helps them build the factory. “At the moment, I would say BYD is better positioned than Tesla in the EV era.”

BYD’s product development costs are 20% to 30% lower than those of Japanese automakers, according to two Toyota officials close to Toyota’s joint R&D center with BYD in Shenzhen.

“The high degree of vertical integration in the battery supply chain gives us a distinct cost advantage over similar automakers, enabling rapid expansion both in China and abroad,” said Al Bedwell, an analyst at LMC.

Still, BYD is taking a cautious approach to the U.S. now, but will likely focus on the U.S. market in the long term, sources said.

“America will be an important part of this global push strategy,” said one person.

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