Wang Chan Fu, BYD Chairman
Warren Buffet-backed BYD is in trouble. The Chinese automaker saw profits fall by an astounding 99 percent in the third quarter. The fall was the second largest among the 982 stocks that make up the MSCI Asia Pacific Index. The company saw sales fall by a hefty 25 percent through September, even though China's overall car market swelled by 19 percent among increased demand. BYD, meanwhile, saw sales fall off by 19 percent in August alone. News of the company's stumbling caused its stock to drop in value by around 10 percent – the largest fall since November of 2008.
According to Bloomberg, the news is only the most recent in a spat of BYD misfortunes, including having seven manufacturing facilities seized by the Chinese government amid accusations that the plants were built illegally. In addition, the company has had to postpone its plans to introduce its all-electric E6 in the United States. Originally, BYD wanted to begin selling the car on U.S. soil by the end of this year, but that goal has now been shifted to sometime in 2011.
Warren Buffet, who owns a 10-percent stake in the company, says he still believes that BYD will prove to be one of the world's leading manufacturers of electric vehicles in the near future.
[Source: Bloomberg | Image: Mike Clarke/AFP/Getty]