BYD getting Israeli partner to compete with Renault and Better Place

If competition spurs companies to improve the quality of their offerings and the speed with which they innovate, then we may soon expect more from Shai Agassi's Better Place and its partner in Israel, Renault. While BYD already announced they would be selling electric vehicles in Israel earlier this month, that pronunciation gains serious weight with the news that IDB Holding Corp. Ltd. is said to be close to officially announcing a deal with the Chinese automaker to bring both its all-electric E6 and its 60 mile plug-in serial hybrid (PHEV) F6DM to the Jewish state.

IDB, which is run by its largest shareholder, Nochi Dankner, has interests in most areas of the Israeli economy save for automobile importing. The shouldn't prove overly problematic as the Lubinsky and Livnat families, who together hold 50 percent of the company, are currently importers of Peugeot and Citroen and have experience in the truck industry. They also operate a network of service stations and "logistic centers." It should be interesting to see whether they employ a cooperative or confrontational approach to competing with the Better Place and their partner, Renault. You bring the popcorn and we'll bring the details of any upcoming battles royale.

[Source: Globes Online]

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