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Chinese automaker BYD, backed by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett, continues to tumble down a rocky road.

Chinese automaker BYD, backed by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett, says its net profit for the first quarter of 2011 fell 84.4 percent year-on-year. In a filing last Wednesday, BYD reported its 2011 Q1 net profit of 266.74 million yuan ($41.2 million U.S. at the current exchange rate), compared to 1.70 billion yuan ($263 million U.S.) for the first quarter of 2010.

China-based BYD Motors has set up operations, albeit on a small scale, in the city of Glendale, CA. For now, a handful of BYD employees are making use of some space adjacent to the showroom of Cars 911, a dealership located on Brand Boulevard in Glendale. The BYD team also services the fleet of F3DM plug-in hybrids that the Chinese automaker leased to the Housing Authority of Los Angeles back in December of 2010.

Back in December of 2010, BYD Motors and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) inked a deal to try out the automaker's dual-mode F3DM plug-in hybrid, testing the vehicle in advance of its scheduled 2012 U.S. launch. The test is designed to get a feel for how the vehicle does in the U.S., because BYD aims to sell "tens of thousands" of F3DMs here in the States by the end of 2012. It could do so if it manages to offer the plug-in hybrid sedan at its target base price of $28,800.

Back in December, BYD Motors and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) inked a deal to test out the automaker's F3DM plug-in hybrid. HACLA's Luisito Bacierto, a housing inspector, took delivery of one of BYD's dual-mode sedans and hit the streets.

2009 BYD F3DM - Click above for high-res image gallery

China-based BYD Motors Inc. and the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) have finalized a deal that will send an undisclosed amount of the automaker's F3DM plug-in hybrid (the DM stands for dual mode) to the HACLA offices for fleet testing. HACLA President and chief executive officer, Rudolf Montiel, released this over-the-top statement after signing the deal:

BYD E6 – Click above for high-res image gallery

2009 BYD F3DM – Click above for high-res image gallery

BYD E6 – Click above for high-res image gallery

BYD e6 electric MPV – Click above for high-res image gallery

2009 BYD F3DM – Click above for high-res image gallery

2009 BYD F3DM - Click above for high-res image gallery

2009 BYD F3DM - Click above for high-res image gallery

2009 BYD F3DM - Click above for high-res image gallery

2009 BYD F3DM - Click above for high-res image gallery

2009 BYD F3DM - Click above for high-res image gallery

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