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January 20, 2017

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BYD eyes sales of e-cars in US

BYD Co plans to sell electric passenger cars in the United States in about two to three years, an executive said yesterday, as it races to be the first Chinese automaker to sell cars to American drivers.

BYD, backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc, specializes in electric and plug-in petrol-electric hybrid vehicles. At present, its US presence is limited to producing buses and selling fleet vehicles such as taxis.

Li Yunfei, BYD’s deputy general manager for branding and public relations, said its passenger car plan was not fixed as entering the US was a complicated process.

“It could be adjusted,” Li said at an event in Beijing. “Now we can only say roughly two to three years.”

China’s government has used a raft of policies, including billions of dollars in subsidies, to spur a boom in electric and plug-in hybrid sales since 2015.

BYD has had false starts in the US, with Chairman Wang Chuanfu previously saying the automaker would begin selling in the US in 2010. Other Chinese peers have also encountered delays in entering the market.


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