Minority Stock Positions

BYD Beats Nissan and Tesla in June/July Car Sales

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

It’s summer and BYD Company Limited’s car sales are heating up, even as some major car companies have wilted.

While everyone watches Tesla and Nissan to get the pulse of EV car sales, Chinese car-maker BYD has quietly topped their world-wide sales figures for June and July.

BYD, which Berkshire Hathaway holds a minority stake in of nearly 10%, reported selling 5,037 EVs and PHEVs in June 2015.

Nissan’s U.S. sales have been particularly soft, reporting selling only 1,174 of its Nissan LEAF EVs in July, a number that is roughly a third of the 3,019 it sold in July 2014.

Tesla, which reports its sales on a quarterly basis, reported that 11,507 of its Model S were delivered worldwide in April-June. The figure was up 52% for the same period in 2014.

Why the Lack of Attention?

BYD, which is the world-leader in rechargeable batteries, has yet to enter the U.S. car market with either its all-electric or hybrid vehicles. In the U.S., the company has focused on the battery-powered zero emission bus market, winning contracts in San Diego and Long Beach, California. The company has built a factory to build the buses in Long Beach.

However, BYD is inching toward car sales. In the spring of 2015 it began a pilot program with Uber in Chicago that used BYDs E6 sedan. The car is a cross between a sedan and SUV, and currently gets roughly 186 miles (300 km) of driving range per charge. The 2016 E6 will reportedly get a range increase to 250 miles (400 km).

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

© 2015 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.