Warren Buffett& s Chinese Electric Car Company GreenBiz com

23 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи Warren Buffett& s Chinese Electric Car Company GreenBiz com отключены
BYD e6 Electric Cars

Warren Buffett s Chinese Car Company

If you think the American industry is in trouble now, wait until the Chinese how to make great cars. And if you that they will check out my cover story BYD in the new issue of FORTUNE, headed to and newsstands this week.

BYD is an company. It was started by a chemist and researcher named Wang in 1995 (same year as to make rechargeable batteries, it learned to do very well. a few years, BYD’s batteries cheaper and just as reliable as made by industry giants and Sanyo. Then Mr. Wang, as known, got into the automobile by buying a failing state-owned

BYD’s conventional gas-powered are selling well these in China, and his electric plug-in model looks like it come to market with a range and a lower sticker than the new Toyota Prius Chevy Volt. As if that not enough, I’m hearing now BYD is on the verge of a breakthrough in the solar business and that the company has big to make rechargeable batteries at a scale to store energy intermittent, renewable sources wind and solar. Today, BYD 130,000 people in 11 factories, in China and one each in India, and Rumania.

That track record and that potential — is persuaded Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, to buy 10 percent of BYD fall for $230 million. could turn out to be one of Buffett’s best deals. Here’s Charlie Munger, Buffett’s friend and the vice chairman of told me about Mr. Wang:

guy is a combination of Thomas Edison and Welch — something Edison in solving technical and something like Welch in done what he needs to do. never seen anything it.

Munger, by the way, is a famous who usually comes up with all of reasons why Buffett’s latest idea won’t pan out. Not so time around.

The other key in the Berkshire-BYD deal is David the chairman of MidAmerican Energy, a company owned by Berkshire and an guy in his own right. (I’m going to about Sokol later week — he is a big believer in energy.) Sokol did most of the due on BYD for Berkshire, and he now sits on the BYD board. He, was very impressed with Mr.

Here are three reasons why I BYD will become an important in the not too distant future.

1. BYD’s prowess. Depending on whether or not you trainees, BYD employs between and 17,000 engineers and it’s recruiting the best graduates China’s engineering and technical The Shenzhen manufacturing region, the company is headquartered, is known for unskilled labor, but BYD’s advantage derives from its skilled labor.

They are the top of the Mr. Wang told me, when I BYD last year. This is a that has already invented new (the way it makes batteries) and (the battery in its electric and it is focused on innovation.

Innovation to be Mr. Wang’s personal passion.

2. forward-thinking management. Sokol is a of management—he wrote a little on the subject called Pleased But Not — and he was impressed with Mr. thoughtful and purposeful approach to his company. So was I. Not many entrepreneurs into effective leaders of companies with 100,000 or employees.

This fact didn’t the story, but I was interested to learn BYD is working with the Hong outpost of Business for Social Unlike some of its domestic BYD wants to adopt best in health and safety as well as ways to empower its people to the company. Jeremy Prepscius, the director for BSR, told me: makes them unique is you have a Chinese company, a big that recognizes the value of to evolve its internal culture, and that it is not just a top-down culture…They are somewhere between an old Chinese enterprise and a modern company like Toyota. told me that Mr.

Wang his ideas and criticism whenever meet. Perhaps surprisingly, CEOs have the confidence to act way. On the downside, it’s to know whether BYD has a strong of managers behind Mr.


3. commitment to clean energy. as I admire the Obama administration’s and environment team, there’s no way the U.S. government is going to U.S. car companies and battery as much as the Chinese government is to help BYD. As Keith of The New York Times reported in a story earlier this

Chinese leaders have a plan aimed at turning the into one of the leading producers of and all-electric vehicles within years, and making it the world in electric cars and buses that.

BYD Electric Cars Electric Cars

The government will direct grants to automakers (as we do, of and also provide subsidies of up to are being offered to taxi and local government agencies in 13 cities for each hybrid or vehicle they purchase.

there’s a fascinating footnote to story, and it involves a man named Li Lu, who was in China in 1966, the same as Mr. Wang. When I began the story, I wondered how Buffett and had become aware of BYD.

question led me to Li Lu, who runs an investment in which Munger is an investor, in Pasadena that owns 2.5 percent of BYD. He was the link Berkshire and BYD.

Li Lu, it turns out, also was a of the pro-democracy movement that the mass student protests in Square in 1989 — 20 ago next month. He fled after hundreds of demonstrators killed and appeared on China’s Most Wanted List.

to New York, Li Lu was embraced by the human community and wrote a memoir Moving the Mountain that like a movie. His well-educated were forced into camps during the Cultural and, as a 10-year-old-boy, he barely an earthquake that killed in the city of Tangshin.

During the Li Lu earned three degrees in six from Columbia — a in economics, a law degree and an M.B.A. He for Allen Co. and at Donaldson, Lufkin before starting his investment When David Sokol flew to China to visit he stopped at LAX to have dinner Li Lu, after which they together to Hong Kong.

Li Lu is still not permitted to travel to China.

Li Lu politely declined to with me for my story, telling me some people in China are unhappy about his role in the protests. Mr. Wang is not among

That’s past history, he Today, Mr Li and I share the belief the best way to help China forward is to make BYD a world-class

Li Lu has agreed to come to FORTUNE’s Green conference next to talk about BYD. eager to meet him and learn about this remarkable You can read my BYD story here.


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