After announcing its Mexico foray, Warren Buffett-backed BYD Co.‘s BYDDF Japanese division said it would start selling its first battery electric vehicles in the country early next year.
What Happened: China’s BYD said it would roll out an electric sports utility vehicle, ATTO 3, in Japan starting Jan. 31 as the company intensifies its plan to sell or make its cars available across top automobile markets, Reuters reported.
The world’s largest EV maker said the car has a cruising distance of 485 kilometers and will cost 4.4 million yen ($32,735.66). The company’s Japan unit aims to introduce two more models by the end of 2023 and launch more than 100 dealerships in the Asian nation by the end of 2025.
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BYD’s Japan chief Atsuki Tofukuji said the company plans to set up tentative retailers starting in late January in 22 cities but is eager to cover all 47 prefectures. “We hope that we can make our presence felt little by little as we work toward carbon neutrality and as our customers demand a variety of choices,” he said.
Why It Matters: Although gasoline-electric hybrid models are more popular than electric vehicles in Japan, the share of battery-driven cars is expected to grow as non-Japanese automakers like BYD and Volkswagen are paving their way into the market.
Recently Buffett’s Berkshire Hathway BRK BRK sold about 3.23 million Hong Kong-listed shares of BYD for HK $630.33 million ($80.7 million) in November. Following the sale, Berkshire’s stake in BYD fell from 16.28% to 15.99% as of November 17, still keeping Berkshire a large shareholder.
Meanwhile, BYD has been a performer, with the November data showing that it delivered 113,915 units of battery EVs, up nearly 147% from the year-ago period.
Price Action: BYD’s U.S.-listed OTC shares closed Friday’s session at $25.88, up 3.24%, according to Benzinga Pro data.
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