BYD, the Shenzhen-headquartered vehicle and battery maker backed by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, said on Thursday sales of new energy vehicles more than tripled in May to 114,943 from 32,800 a year earlier.
The company’s sales in the first five months of the year soared by 348% year-on-year to 507,314 EVs, shaking off industry disruption from Covid-related lockdowns in Shanghai and underscoring the popularity of EV models in the world’s largest auto market. BYD’s sales in May also topped April’s 106,042.
Brutal lockdowns of up to two months in connection with China’s “zero-Covid” policy hurt economic growth and squeezed global supply chains in the country in the past two months. Shanghai partly eased the restrictions on June 1. (See related post here.)
Smaller China EV makers XPeng, NIO and Li Auto also reported year on-year sales gains in May. U.S.-trade shares in all three climbed today.
BYD’s overall business is more diversified than its rivals – it also makes handset components and photovoltaics. Among its customers are Dell, Apple, Xiaomi and Huawei. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway holds a 7.7% stake in BYD, which ranked No. 579 on the Forbes Global 2000 ranking of the world’s top publicly traded companies earlier this year.
BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu holds a fortune worth $23.9 billion on the Forbes Real-Time Billionaires List today. BYD Vice Chairman Lu Xiangyang, a cousin of Wang who also leads investment firm Youngy Investment Holding, is worth $19 billion, and BYD director Xia Zuoquan, who leads investment firm Zhengyuan Capital, is worth $4.3 billion.
China has the largest number of billionaires in the world after the United States.
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