Warren Buffett’s new auto dealership business isn’t under any threat from Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA), the billionaire investor said on Tuesday. But Elon Musk can ill-afford to reciprocate that sentiment knowing that Buffet-backed electric carmaker, BYD, is making a big push towards plug-in cars. Buffet spent $230 million in 2008 to acquire a 10 percent stake in BYD.
BYD to Ramp-up Production of Batteries
Build Your Dreams, popularly known as BYD, is already producing all-electric buses in America, and last month, unveiled plans to increase production of batteries in the country. The move will position the company to directly take on Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) in the fight to become the leading supplier of batteries to electric motor vehicles.
BYD will add 6 gigawatt-hours of battery production in the next 3 years, raising its total capacity to around 34 gigawatt-hours by 2020 from the current 10 gigawatt-hours.
If BYD manages to achieve that production target, it would put the company on par with Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s $5 billion “gigafactory” in Nevada, which is expected to reach full production capacity of about 35 gigawatt-hours by 2020.
BYD’s Growing Presence in the United States
BYD is fast emerging as a key player in the nascent electricity storage business; projected to grow to about $1.5 billion in the US alone by 2019. The company started out making batteries for mobile phones, but shocked many in 2003 when it launched its automotive business. Since then, BYD has become one of China’s most successful automakers. But it did not stop their and started eyeing the lucrative U.S. market. It scaled up its manufacturing capacity in the US amid growing demand for its batteries. BYD already has 2 manufacturing units in Southern California that produce electric buses. Outside of the U.S., the Shenzhen-based company is opening a large manufacturing facility in Brazil in 2015.
Warren Buffet dismisses Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s self-driving cars
Speaking on the sidelines of the a forum hosted by the National Automobile Dealers Association yesterday, Warren Buffet dismissed the possibility of an influx of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s self-driving cars in the near future, saying that doubts still exist over how well the technology will be embraced by the general public.