Commentary: Berkshire Made the Right Bet on BYD

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

While investors cross their fingers and hope that Tesla’s anticipated Model 3 profits will come in time to bail out the company’s cash burn rate, another electric car and battery maker, China’s BYD, is celebrating its record profits in 2016.

Wondering which company Berkshire Hathaway invested in? If you said BYD, you are right.

The good news for Berkshire, which owns just under ten percent of BYD, is that BYD achieved a record five billion RMB profit in 2016, as the company continues to debut its pure electric buses and cars in markets around the world.

BYD recently unveiled the ‘Dynasty’ prototype vehicle created by its new Design Director Wolfgang Egger.

BYD is preparing to make an even greater push internationally by investing in world class technology and expertise that advances its vision of creating an eco-system of quality new energy products. The five billion RMB SkyRail monorail that was launched last October, the appointment of actor Leonardo DiCaprio as brand ambassador in China for new energy vehicles, along with the recent hiring of two European automobile heavyweights underscores the company’s strategic global expansion.

“Joining BYD provides an opportunity to help a young brand develop its design DNA as it looks to expand its global footprint,” said BYD Design Director Wolfgang Egger. “This concept vehicle will take BYD’s consumer vehicles in an exciting new direction, with design cues like its dragon-inspired exterior drawing inspiration from China’s rich cultural heritage.”

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.

For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.

© 2017 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.