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.

The decrease, according to BYD chairman Wang Chuan-fu, was "mainly due to a decline in the performance of the automobile business, coupled with the effect of increased management expenses and finance expenses."

Operating revenue for the quarter fell to 11.71 billion yuan ($1.81 billion U.S.) as vehicle sales plummeted due to the expiration of incentives and intensifying competition. Of course, none of this bodes well for BYD's future here in the States. With the automaker struggling in China, we'd venture to guess that BYD's optimistic U.S. sales goals might be scaled back a bit.

[Source: Reuters]

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