Time for BYD to Deliver

Globe and Mail columnist Michael Vaughn wonders when Chinese carmaker bothers to show up in Detroit.

Published: 21-Jan-2011

For four years in a row, BYD has shown up at the Detroit auto show and I wonder why it bothers.

Maybe it’s to give the impression to customers back in China that the company is good enough for the U.S. market, or maybe it’s to show Warren Buffet that the $230-million he spent in December 2008, for a 10 per cent stake in the company isn’t all gone yet. Whatever the company is in Detroit for, it’s certainly not to launch sellable cars.

BYD (Build Your Dreams) is the Chinese auto maker that started as a cellphone battery maker in 1995 and has stated that it intends to sell “tens of thousands” of vehicles in the United States by the end of 2012 and will become the world’s largest automobile manufacturer by 2025. It also promises to bring about “the fourth industrial revolution” by producing the solar cells, the batteries and the cars that will run on sunlight only. Now that’s what I call The Green Highway. Unfortunately its long, platitude-laden news conference last week was nothing more than vague generalities.


BYD E6 electric car could be headed to Germany in 2011.

Models would include F3DM plug-in hybrid and E6 all-electric.

Warren Buffett inspects new BYD K9 electric transit bus.

Appears to be BYD-authored oped describing new business strategy with significant focus on grid-scale energy storage technology.

BYD K9 electric transit bus on display at EVS 25 in Shenzhen, China.

Los Angeles could be first city to acquire and deploy in this transit fleet.


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