Category Archives: Minority Stock Positions

Berkshire Hathaway-Backed BYD Enters South Africa Bus Market

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD, the world’s leading electric bus manufacturer, has released a joint announcement with Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) that two BYD electric buses will be placed into operation in Cape Town, Western Cape province.

These two electric buses will be the first electric buses in South Africa and Southern Africa.

As the largest public transportation service provider in South Africa, GABS is currently running more than 1100 units of buses daily and has more than 160 years of bus operating experience.

Since November 2020, GABS has conducted a series of strict tests on the two BYD electric buses. The test outcome was outstanding and received high praise from GABS. In addition, GABS planned to start the electrification of the local public transportation gradually in the future.

“Introducing electric buses aims to respond to the national and provincial governments’ call for reducing carbon emissions,” said Gideon Neethling, GABS company engineer. “For the first few months, we tested the buses in a range of circumstances without passengers. The aim was to get to know exactly how these vehicles perform before incorporating them into our operations.” He was very pleased with the test result, said: “Testing these vehicles has been a joy for everyone who is part of the project. Each time we carry out a new test or reach a new milestone, the level of excitement increases further,” said Neethling.

The capacity of the BYD electric bus is 40 passengers with the highest range up to 320 km (200 miles). In addition, these buses are equipped with user-friendly features, such as free WiFi and a wheelchair ramp. These two electric buses will operate during the local rush hour, carrying passengers between Retreat and Cape Town.

Transport and Public Works Minister, Daylin Mitchell said: “After taking a ride in this bus, I am confident passengers will feel safe during their journey.”

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.

Berkshire-Backed Paytm Heading for India’s Largest IPO

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed mobile payment company Paytm will file a draft prospectus for its long-anticipated IPO on July 12, the date the company has set an extraordinary general meeting in Delhi, India.

Paytm is India’s largest mobile payments and commerce platform.

The IPO is projected to be at a valuation of between $24 billion to $25 billion with the company raising around $2.3 billion, the largest in India to date.

Founded in 2009, Paytm is an Indian e-commerce payment system and financial technology company, based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.

In 2018, Berkshire Hathaway made a $356 million investment for a 3-4% stake in One97 Communications Ltd, the parent of Paytm.

In addition to Berkshire Hathaway, China’s Alibaba and Japan’s SoftBank are also stakeholders.

The investment was made by Berkshire portfolio manager Todd Combs, who said at the time, “I have been impressed by Paytm and am excited about being a part of its growth story, as it looks to transform payments and financial services in India.”

“Berkshire’s experience in financial services, and long-term investment horizon is going to be a huge advantage in Paytm’s journey of bringing 500 million Indians to the mainstream economy through financial inclusion,” Paytm’s founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said in 2018.

© 2021 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.

BYD UK and ADL Receive 195 Bus Order For London

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD’s subsidiary BYD UK and their joint venture partner Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) will deliver the UK’s largest ever electric bus order. The order has been placed by RATP Dev London, one of Transport for London (TfL)’s principal bus operators, for a total of 195 single and double deck vehicles.

With this order, RATP Dev London confirms its commitment to supporting TfL’s electrification plan for London’s bus network, a key objective of the Mayor’s Transport Strategy for 2018, under which all TfL buses will be zero emissions by 2037, with all of London’s transport becoming emissions free by 2037.

Deliveries of RATP Dev London’s latest BYD ADL fleet will begin in the summer. 68 BYD ADL Enviro200EV single decks – including 21 compact 33-foot models – and 127 BYD ADL Enviro400EV double decks will be based at RATP Dev London’s Fulwell, Harrow and Shepherd’s Bush depots to serve routes in the west of the capital. The buses will join 36 existing BYD ADL single decks in service since 2018 and 29 BYD ADL double decks delivered last year. Feedback from RATP Dev London on these in-service vehicles has been very positive, with the double deck BYD ADL Enviro400EV in particular delivering exceptional reliability on 24-hour route operations.

BYD is a global leader in batteries, energy management and electric mobility. ADL is a subsidiary of leading independent global bus manufacturer NFI Group Inc. (NFI).

Catherine Chardon, Managing Director of RATP Dev London, said, “Electrification is a critical part of our business and partnership with Transport for London (TfL). We launched our two first 100% electric routes less than two years ago, as well as London’s first fully electric 24-hour double-decker bus route last year. By the beginning of 2022, we will operate 15 zero emission routes and have five of our garages converted to electric. This agreement will help RATP Dev London position itself as the leading electric bus services provider in the city. We are proud to work hand in hand with TfL to help London achieve its sustainability goals.”

BYD UK Managing Director, Frank Thorpe, said, “Naturally, this is a hugely significant moment in the development of the BYD brand in the UK. Public transport in the capital often provides the blueprint for other towns and cities and the fact that a major operator like RATP Dev is making such a substantial commitment to eMobility will, I believe, resonate with Local Authorities across the UK. The increasing electrification of routes by TfL operators is delivering long-term productivity to their fleets and real environmental benefits for Londoners.”

Paul Davies, ADL President & Managing Director, said: “RATP Dev London’s record order is a resounding vote of confidence in our British-built electric buses and ADL’s proven ability to tailor these to authorities and operators’ requirements. These buses will build on our pioneering work in support of Transport for London’s Bus Safety Standard with a focus on safety for drivers, passengers and other road users.”

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.

BYD eBus Bridges the Danube With Pollution-Free Public Transport

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD, the world’s leading electric bus manufacturer, is uniting the people of Slovakia and Hungary with the delivery of its best-selling 40-foot eBus to Volánbusz Zrt. — one of Hungary’s largest public transport operators.

Volanbusz Zrt. will offer daily electric bus services across the Danube river to the cities of Komarom, Hungry on the south bank of the river, and Karmano, Slovakia on the north bank.

Now citizens on both sides of the river can travel between the two countries on board an electric bus for the first time.

Volánbusz’s latest low-floor BYD vehicle delivers a 180-mile single-charge range from its 348kWh battery capacity. The two-door model will also provide class-leading safety and high levels of comfort for passengers. BYD’s 40-foot eBus remains the company’s, and the European market’s, best-selling electric bus.

Volánbusz plans to buy additional electric vehicles and charging infrastructure.

In 2017, BYD opened its first European bus factory in Komárom, Hungary. The factory produces roughly 400 buses annually, and employs over 300 people.

“This is an historic day for the people of Komárom and Komárno,” said Yongping Chen, Managing Director, BYD Electric Bus & Truck Hungary. “Passengers can travel across the Danube on board a pure-electric BYD eBus in safety, comfort and, above all, help promote a cleaner, more sustainable future for the two cities.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.

Berkshire Hathaway-Backed BYD Up 57% Since May

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD’s stock (BYDDF) has been on a tear recently with a 57 percent rise in just under five weeks. The stock hit a low of $18 on May 10, 2021 and has since reached $28.19 on June 14, 2021.

BYD shares had been on a dramatic run in 2020 since rising from only $4.52 on March 20, 2020 to a peak of $35.94 on January 24, 2021. The stock then fell almost 50 percent to its May low.

Now, the stock has regained its momentum at an exciting time for the company.

In May, the one-millionth car, the Han EV, rolled off its production line at BYD’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China. And the company recently announced the delivery of the first 100 European-specification BYD Tang SUVs for customers in Norway, which is part of a larger 1,500 cars slated for Norway.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million has grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.

BYD Debuts Electric School Buses

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD (Build Your Dreams) the world leader in electric vehicles, is introducing a battery-electric Type D school bus with unparalleled safety features and performance, wrapped in a sleek design that will have students wanting to step onboard.

With length options of 35, 38, and 40 feet, BYD’s Type D battery-electric school bus is perfect for transporting students to classes, field trips, as well as athletic and band events. The Type D can seat up to 84, and can be equipped with an ADA liftgate. The bus has a range of up to 155 miles on a single charge.

BYD’s smart technology creates a new environment where for bi-directional charging can be the norm. School buses can be charged overnight when energy demand is low, and clean emission free energy can be fed back into the classroom during school hours when the bus is parked keeping classrooms well-lit and students and teachers plugged-in.

“We are raising the bar for design, innovation, range and quality, giving parents peace of mind knowing their children are benefitting from the safest school bus anywhere,” said Stella Li, President of BYD North America. “At the same time, our buses will give operators the performance and cost savings that will make migrating to zero emission technology affordable and practical.”

BYD made safety the top priority in its school bus design, including such features as electronic stability control to aid handling, a collision avoidance system, and a 360-degree monitoring system to detect pedestrians and cyclists when the bus is operating at slow speeds.

In addition, BYD adds an additional layer of protection for children as they exit the bus with its Predictive Stop Arm™, which monitors approaching traffic and notifies students when it may not be safe to cross.

BYD buses can be equipped with IMMI’S Safeguard 3-point lap-shoulder belts, integrated child seats, and portable restraints. These school bus seats are not only designed to keep children safer, but they have the benefits of improving behavior, reducing bullying, and minimizing driver distraction.

“From the beginning, our team has always been focused on many key features,” said Samuel Kang, BYD’s Head of Total Technology Solutions. “We believed the Type D electric bus needed to be appealing to kids while at the same time offer the upmost safety features and driver ergonomics, be equipped with a safe, high-performance battery, and have plenty of storage capacity for road trips. The BYD Type D school bus achieves all those goals.”

With the driver being the first safety element, BYD drew from the experience of thousands of bus operators to enhance comfort and ergonomics in designing the driver’s cockpit. The driver’s area features comfort seats, an 18-inch power steering wheel and telescopic steering column, high level of visibility, and easy to reach control switches. The driver can also control the air conditioning over the cockpit in addition to controlling the system for passengers.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.

BYD and ADL Deliver 500th Electric Bus

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

BYD UK and Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) have announced that their electric vehicle partnership has delivered its 500th electric bus.

The zero emission double decker has joined the fleet of the partnership’s launch customer, Go-Ahead London, as orders for the next 500 BYD ADL electric buses have already been confirmed for public transport operators across the UK.

BYD is a global leader in batteries, energy management and electric mobility, while ADL is a subsidiary of leading independent global bus manufacturer NFI Group Inc. (NFI).

BYD and ADL signed a partnership agreement in October 2015, and the partnership delivered its first buses the following summer.

Its electric buses for the UK and Ireland are built in Britain, ensuring that investment in cleaner transport benefits communities across the country, as well as the environment.

Less than five years after rolling out the first, the partnership has now delivered the 500th BYD ADL electric bus. This BYD ADL Enviro400EV double decker is one of 20 that have joined the Go-Ahead London fleet for Transport for London route 69 between Walthamstow and Canning Town.

Go-Ahead London has worked closely with the BYD ADL partnership since its inception, becoming its launch customer in 2016 and continuing to support product development with its operational experience. This has made Go-Ahead the country’s biggest operator of electric buses, including nearly half of the 500 BYD ADL electric buses delivered so far.

Frank Thorpe, Managing Director of BYD UK, said: “We were delighted in 2015 when Go-Ahead London embarked upon their journey towards electrification with us, and we’re even more thrilled today as we celebrate the handover of the 500th BYD ADL electric bus. It’s a very significant milestone, and not only for the BYD ADL partnership. It demonstrates clearly the commitment of the nation’s capital to decarbonization, with eMobility playing an increasingly fundamental role in delivering a cleaner transport system for millions of people. Operators like Go-Ahead London, with the BYD ADL partnership in support, really are leading the charge.”

ADL UK Sales Director, Martin Brailey said: “As we prepare to transition chassis assembly to our UK facilities to deliver a product fully built in Britain, the BYD ADL partnership’s winning combination of class-leading technology and design expertise continues to set the standard for electric buses. This has been made possible by our customers, and none more so than Go-Ahead London, who were the first outside China to convert an entire depot to electric operation with the launch order five years ago and who continue to challenge us to deliver ongoing innovation.”

John Trayner, Go-Ahead London’s Managing Director, said: “It is fitting that this significant milestone took place at Waterloo, our global award-winning all-electric bus garage. Waterloo pioneered electric bus technology in 2013 and it quickly proved reliable in the capital’s high frequency and demanding stop/start operating environment. Along with the Mayor, Transport for London and other important infrastructure partners, we are seamlessly transitioning the capital’s iconic red bus fleet to deliver a zero-emission public transport offering. Congratulations to the BYD ADL partnership on reaching 500 e-bus deliveries.”

Richard Harrington, Go-Ahead London’s Engineering Director, added: “We know that our people enjoy driving and maintaining what was, until relatively recently, a new technology. Go-Ahead London has a proud history of innovation and as our buses switch from diesel to other technologies, our experience as the UK’s largest e-bus operator, with over 200 BYD ADL electric vehicles in service, will prove invaluable.”

The BYD ADL partnership has already taken firm orders for the next 500 electric buses, expected to be delivered over the next twelve months and taking the partnership’s total to over 1000.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.

Berkshire-Backed Paytm Eying India’s Largest IPO

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed mobile payment company Paytm is aiming for a $3 Billion (218 billion rupees) IPO in 2021. Paytm is India’s largest mobile payments and commerce platform.

Bloomberg reports that the valuation will be between $25 billion and $30 billion.

Founded in 2009, Paytm is an Indian e-commerce payment system and financial technology company, based in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India. In 2018, Berkshire Hathaway made a $356 million investment for a 3-4% stake in One97 Communications Ltd, the parent of Paytm.

The investment was made by Berkshire portfolio manager Todd Combs, who said at the time, “I have been impressed by Paytm and am excited about being a part of its growth story, as it looks to transform payments and financial services in India.”

“Berkshire’s experience in financial services, and long-term investment horizon is going to be a huge advantage in Paytm’s journey of bringing 500 million Indians to the mainstream economy through financial inclusion,” Paytm’s founder and CEO Vijay Shekhar Sharma said in 2018.

© 2021 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.

Berkshire Hathaway-Backed BYD Passes 1 Million Mark for EVs

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD (Build Your Dreams) is celebrating a significant production milestone by becoming one of the first new energy vehicle manufacturers globally to produce one million electric passenger cars. The one-millionth car, the Han EV, rolled off the production line today at BYD’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Shenzhen, China.

At the same time, its Blade Battery completed an extreme strength test that saw it being rolled over by a 46-ton heavy truck, once again resetting the bar for power battery safety.

BYD’s pioneering work in the development of battery technology and new energy vehicle (NEV) manufacturing has led the new energy revolution in the global automotive industry since the company’s emergence in 2003 – spearheaded by innovative technologies and a well-calibrated global business strategy. In 2004, BYD unveiled its all-electric concept car, the ET, at the Beijing Auto Show, marking the premiere debut of an NEV model. This was followed in 2008 when the world’s first mass-produced plug-in hybrid NEV – the F3DM – was officially unveiled.

In 2020, the BYD Han was launched with performance specs setting twelve records globally and nine in China. The BYD Han continues to be a top-selling model in the mid-to-large luxury sedan sector, and with the credentials to rival models from the three German luxury car giants.

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.

BYD eBuses Tackle the Arctic Cold of Northern Sweden

(BRK.A), (BRK.B)

Berkshire Hathaway-backed BYD (Build Your Dreams) is confident its eBuses can meet the challenges of even some of the coldest environments.

Nobina, the principal Public Transport Operator (PTO) for Sweden and the Nordic region, has taken delivery of the first of 13 BYD eBuses for operation in Piteå in the north-east of Sweden, marking the start of services in northern Scandinavia’s challenging, often sub-zero degree climate.

The new fleet will see BYD eBuses in operation close to the arctic circle at latitude 65.31º north – BYD’s most northerly customer delivery in Europe. The BYD fleet will be the first electric buses for Piteå, providing safe, quiet and emissions-free public transport for the city’s residents.

Nobina’s new eBuses are manufactured at BYD’s state-of-the-art production facility in Komárom, Hungary – one of two BYD manufacturing plants in Europe.

The first new 40-foot eBus is handed-over to Nobina yesterday, and will be joined by the remaining 12 vehicles, which will be ready for full operations to commence over the summer. Following this latest delivery, Nobina will have ordered in excess of 300 eBuses from BYD with more than 160 vehicles currently on services throughout the Nordic region.

With extremely cold environments providing the ultimate test for Electric Vehicle deployment, Nobina can be assured of vehicle reliability from its latest BYD fleet. BYD’s extensive testing in the region, supported by existing customer feedback from its customers elsewhere in Scandinavia, demonstrate that BYD’s world-class expertise in battery and electric-motor technology delivers proven reliability. In exceptionally hot climates too, PTOs are looking to BYD as the first-choice supplier of electric buses, with BYD eBuses now in operation on the Iberian Peninsula and throughout southern Europe.

To date, there are well in excess of 1,800 BYD eBuses in operation or on order with PTOs right across Europe. Globally, BYD has delivered more than 65,000 pure-electric buses and coaches, with the BYD brand now established in over 300 cities in more than 50 countries and regions.

“We feel pride in introducing fully electric, and emission free buses to Piteå, providing a modern, safe, quiet and reliable public transport. And even if the nordic region can be challeging – we are confident in the BYD technology that is proven end extensively tested, said Jens Råsten”, Fleet Manager at the Nobina Group.

“While the challenging climate in the region will provide a test for any electric vehicle,” said Isbrand Ho, Managing Director, BYD Europe, “I am confident that our pioneering battery and electric motor technologies will deliver outstanding performance and reliability. We have carried out extensive cold-weather testing with proven results,” he said, “and already, BYD customers right across Scandinavia have shown that eMobility is the most viable zero-emissions solution for public transport services.”

BYD and Berkshire Hathaway

In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares for $232 million. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $232 million had grown in value to $5.897 billion as of December 31, 2020.

© 2021 David Mazor

Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway and BYD, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell a 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.