BYD posts record Q4 profit, teaming up with Daimler to produce EVs for China

BYD Co, a Chinese automaker and battery maker backed by U.S. billionaire icon Warren Buffett, has posted a forecast-beating fourth quarter. The news comes as Beijing’s policy initiatives boosted demand in China, the world’s largest car market.

BYD, which stands for “Build Your Dreams,” earned 1.46 billion yuan ($214 million) in the fourth quarter due to the economies of scale of its fast growing automobile unit. Full-year net profit was 3.79 billion yuan, up from 1.02 billion yuan a year earlier. The company’s battery and electronic business, largely held by BYD Electronic, accounted for about 47 percent of the sales in 2009.

Most analysts say that earnings growth for BYD, which stands for “Build Your Dreams,” would likely slow down in 2010 as car sales in China return to normal growth rates. But BYD is feeling upbeat and has lifted its 2010 car sales forecast by 14 percent to 800,000 vehicles, nearly double of its 440,000 sales last year.

BYD, a front runner among Chinese automakers in fuel-efficient vehicles, earlier this month agreed to team up with Daimler to produce electric-cars for the Chinese market.

The company is lead by Wang Chuanfu, a soft-spoken entrepreneur who in his early days used to dismantle rivals’ batteries to understand how they worked.

– By: Kap Shah

Source: Reuters