Tags: Buffett-Backed BYDs December Sales Fall 15 Percent on Foreign Competition

Buffett-Backed BYD's December Sales Fall 15 Percent on Foreign Competition

Wednesday, 05 Jan 2011 11:55 AM

BYD Co.’s sales fell 15 percent to 51,300 vehicles in December amid rising competition from overseas rivals including General Motors Co. in China, the world’s biggest vehicle market.

The Warren Buffett-backed automaker sold 519,806 cars last year, 16 percent more than a year earlier, BYD said in a statement. The figure is 13 percent short of the 600,000 unit target set in August by Shenzhen, southern China-based BYD, which didn’t give a reason for missing the goal.

Chinese automakers such as BYD and Zhejiang Geely Holding Group Co. face a sales challenge from car companies including GM and Volkswagen AG as rising incomes prompt shoppers to buy more expensive foreign models. GM and Tokyo-based Honda Motor Co. are also adding new, lower priced brands to take on local rivals in China.

BYD rose 1.4 percent to HK$43.50 as of 11:09 a.m. in Hong Kong trading, while the city’s Hang Seng Index slipped 0.3 percent. BYD’s stock fell 40 percent in 2010 after surging more than fivefold a year earlier.

The carmaker cut its sales target for 2010 by 25 percent to 600,000 units in August from an earlier estimate of 800,000 vehicles. GM, the biggest foreign automaker in China, said yesterday its 2009 sales in the country rose 29 percent to 2.35 million units.

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