Car Wars: The Canton Menace

Wayne Ellis

BYD F6DM plug-in hybrid at NAIAS2008. It looks rather like a Toyota Camry. "DM" stands for "Dual Mode": electric-only and hybrid gas/electric.

Car Wars: The Canton Menace (Bloomberg)

BYD Co. is a Chinese automaker that will begin to introduce its autos to the U.S. market in 2015. This effort will mark the second time that BYD tries to shoulder its way into the already crowded U.S. market. As far back as 2005, BYD management had its sights set on getting into the U.S.. However, it aborted its first attempt in 2010, as barriers to entry appeared too large at the time. Now, BYD returns with a new philosophy: “Entering the U.S. market carries more symbolic meaning to brand building than actually boosting its bottom line,” according to Han Weiqi, an analyst with CSC International Holdings Ltd. In addition to the new philosophy, BYD’s ready for its U.S. return due to the three-year company makeover orchestrated by founder and Chairman Weng Chuanfu — who slashed the number of dealerships and narrowed losses in other businesses. How will the world react to BYD’s second coming to America? Well, shares of the company are currently half the level reached in 2009, but that situation just means they could be undervalued.

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