XIAN, China – BYD Co., the Chinese auto maker part-owned by Warren Buffett's company, is finalizing plans for an all-electric battery car that would be sold in the U.S. next year, ahead of the original schedule, Chairman Wang Chuanfu said.
In an interview at a BYD factory here, Mr. Wang said the company aims to use money from a planned new-share sale in China to help pay for the U.S. push, as well as for a second production line for automotive lithium-ion batteries near BYD's Shenzhen headquarters.
He said BYD wants to build up its brand name in the U.S. by offering one of its most advanced cars, the five-seat e6, before eventually expanding its offerings.
Mr. Wang said the company plans to pick a specific region within the U.S. and initially market "a few hundred" e6s, priced at slightly more than $40,000, through a small number of dealers. "In the beginning, our target customers are going to be government agencies, utilities and maybe some celebrities," Mr. Wang said. He added that BYD hopes to enter Europe with a similar strategy in 2011 or later.