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China's BYD plans to sell passenger cars in US in 2-3 years: exec

Thursday, January 19, 2017 - 14:23

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BYD Co Ltd plans to sell electric passenger cars in the United States in about two to three years, an executive said on Thursday, as it races to be the first Chinese automaker to sell cars to American drivers.

[BEIJING] BYD Co Ltd plans to sell electric passenger cars in the United States in about two to three years, an executive said on Thursday, as it races to be the first Chinese automaker to sell cars to American drivers.

BYD, backed by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc, specialises in electric and plug-in petrol-electric hybrid vehicles. At present, its US presence is limited to producing buses and selling fleet vehicles such as taxis.

Li Yunfei, BYD's deputy general manager for branding and public relations, said its passenger car plan was not fixed as entering the US was a complicated process.

"It could be adjusted," Mr Li said at an event in Beijing. "Now we can only say roughly 2 to 3 years." China's government has used a raft of policies, including billions of dollars in subsidies, to spur a boom in electric and plug-in hybrid sales since 2015.

sentifi.com

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The US, meanwhile, has lagged.

BYD has had false starts in the US, with Chairman Wang Chuanfu previously saying the automaker would begin selling in the US in 2010. Other Chinese peers have also encountered delays in entering the market.

GAC Motor, a subsidiary of Guangzhou Automobile Group Co Ltd, displayed three models at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this month, stating it would enter the US by 2019 instead of a previous goal of 2017.

A GAC Motor spokeswoman declined to elaborate on the delay.

REUTERS

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