- Warren Buffett-backed BYD is in early talks to purchase a Ford plant in Germany, the Wall Street Journal said.
- A deal would mark a massive overseas expansion for China’s top maker of electric vehicles.
- Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway reduced its stake in BYD in 2022 but still owns 16% of the company.
Warren Buffet-backed BYD is in early talks with Ford to purchase a production plant in Germany, sources told the Wall Street Journal.
Executives from Ford are due to travel to China next week to discuss the deal, the report said. The Chinese electric vehicle maker would seemingly take over the plant in Saarlouis once Ford ends production there in 2025. Ford is weighing 15 other potential investors for a deal, the Journal added.
Ford previously announced an end to vehicle production at the plant, which makes the Focus compact car, in June of last year. Ford plans to focus EV production in Spain and at a separate German plant in Cologne.
If BYD clinches a deal, it would mark a major overseas expansion. BYD is the largest EV maker in China by sales volume, and expanding in Europe would allow the company to gain stronger footing in a rapidly growing market.
BYD sold nearly 1.9 million vehicles in 2022, outpacing Tesla’s 2022 sales figure of about 1.3 million. BYD sells both plug-in hybrid vehicles and fully electric vehicles, typically at a lower price point than Tesla’s lowest priced Model 3.
Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway first bought shares in BYD in 2008. While it reduced its stake in BYD in 2022 — bagging more than $1 billion in profits in the process — it still owns 16% of the company, according to regulatory filings.
US-listed shares of BYD were flat on Tuesday at $29.77. But the stock has significantly outperformed EV rivals like Tesla and Rivian as well as Chinese competitors like Xpeng and Nio recently.