BYD Company Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corporation have signed an agreement to establish a joint company to research and development for battery electric vehicles (BEVs).
The new R&D company, which will work on designing and developing BEVs (including platform) and its related parts, is anticipated to be established in China in 2020, with BYD and Toyota to evenly share 50% of the total capital needed.
Additionally, BYD and Toyota plan to staff the new company by transferring engineers and the jobs currently involved in related R&D from their respective companies.
On the establishment of the new company, BYD senior vice president Lian Yu-bo said:
“We aim to combine BYD’s strengths in development and competitiveness in the battery electric vehicle market with Toyota’s quality and safety technology to provide the best BEV products for the market demand and consumer affection as early as we can.”
Toyota executive vice president Shigeki Terashi commented:
“With the same goal to further promote the widespread use of electrified vehicles, we appreciate that BYD and Toyota can become “teammates”, able to put aside our rivalry and collaborate. We hope to further advance and expand both BYD and Toyota from the efforts of the new company with BYD.”
BYD was founded in 1995 as a battery business and has grown into a total energy solution company, manufacturing not only electrified vehicles but other products such as large-size energy storage cells. The company name BYD stands for “Build Your Dreams” and core parts for electrified vehicles such as batteries, motors and power electronics are among the products that BYD develops in-house. In 2008, BYD became the first company in the world to sell mass production of plug-in hybrid electrified vehicles (PHEVs).
Since 2015 onwards, BYD’s sales of BEVs and PHEVs have been ranked first in the world for four consecutive years.
Since Toyota launched the Prius, the world’s first mass-produced hybrid electric vehicle (HEV), in 1997, the company has become a pioneer of electrified vehicle development with a focus on HEVs. Toyota has sold more than 14 million electrified vehicles worldwide and has accumulated extensive knowledge concerning the development, production, and sale of both HEVs and their related core components. Also, based on the thinking that electrified vehicles contribute to the society only when its popularized, Toyota is initiating electrification globally. In China, Toyota is also working on spreading electrification and also developing vehicles which meets Chinese customer’s needs in collaboration between Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing (China) Co., Ltd. (TMEC) and the R&D centers established at Chinese joint-venture companies with China FAW Group Corporation (FAW) and Guangzhou Automobile Group Co., Ltd (GAC).
With the newly established joint R&D company, Toyota and BYD aim to work together to further develop BEVs that are attractive to Chinese customers, and by further promoting their widespread adoption, aim to contribute toward environmental improvement.
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 has grown in value almost ten-fold, and is now worth roughly $1.96 billion.
For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.
© 2019 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.