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Build Your Dreams: The world's leading EV business

BYD (or 比亚迪股份有限公司) is a publicly-listed Chinese manufacturing company based in Shenzhen. It was founded by Wang Chuanfu in February 1995, and has two major subsidiaries, BYD Automobile and BYD Electronic. Collectively, BYD manufactures automobiles, buses, electric bicycles, trucks, forklifts, solar panels, rechargeable batteries, and more. It has grown to become one of the world's most valuable automakers, and a leader in EVs (most notably full-electric and hybrid cars, buses, trucks, etc.), battery-powered bicycles, forklift, solar panels and rechargeable batteries (mobile phone batteries, electric vehicle batteries and renewable bulk storage). It is currently the world's biggest mobile phone batteries manufacturer.

BYD was founded in 1995 by Wang Chuanfu,  a Chinese chemist, who became a billionaire entrepreneur. He was born in 1966 in Anhui province to a family of poor farmers. While in high school he was cared for by his elder brother and sister because both of his parents had died. After high school he studied chemistry at the Central South University, and went on to earn a master’s degree in 1990 from the Beijing Non-Ferrous Research Institute.

The name BYD is an abbreviation of “Build Your Dreams”.

BYD started as a rechargeable-battery factory competing in the Chinese market against Japanese imports.   It grew quickly within ten years capturing more than half the world’s mobile-phone battery market and becoming the largest Chinese manufacturer (and in the top four worldwide) of all types of rechargeable batteries. BYD topped the 2010 Bloomberg Businessweek Tech 100 list, a list of large, fast-growing tech companies. Replacing work done by machines with cheap, local labour lowered costs, and the company began expanding beyond batteries adding automobiles and mobile phone components.

A year after the 2002 acquisition of Tsinchuan Automobile Co Ltd, BYD Automobile Co Ltd was born. One of many Chinese automakers, in 2010 it was the sixth largest in terms of sales volume.  In 2022, BYD announced its intention to end production of combustion engine vehicles and focus only on electric vehicles.

In 2016, BYD unveiled a working monorail prototype marketed as “Skyrail” and announced they will enter the global rail transit market. The first public Skyrail line opened as a 9.7 km (6.0 mi) long loop line in Yinchuan’s flower expo in 2018.  Since then BYD has begun construction of a number of systems around the world including the Guang’an Metro and the Guilin Metro in China, Line 17 in São Paulo and the SkyRail Bahia, both in Brazil. 

At the beginning of 2020, in the midst of Covid-19, BYD responded quickly and announced that it would produce face masks to help alleviate mask shortages around the world. BYD face masks have been delivered to more than 80 countries and regions.  BYD accomplished blueprints within 3 days, completed the manufacture of mask-making machines within 7 days, and rolled off the first batch of masks within 10 days. In just 24 days, BYD established the world’s largest mask plant with the highest capacity up to 100 million pieces per day.

Today BYD is a high-tech company devoted to leveraging technological innovations for a better life. After more than 27 years of high-speed growth, BYD has established over 30 industrial parks across 6 continents and played a significant role in industries related to electronics, auto, renewable energy and rail transit. With a focus on energy acquisition, storage, and application, BYD offers comprehensive new energy solutions with zero-emission. As a company listed on both the Hong Kong Stock Exchange and Shenzhen Stock Exchange, its turnover exceeds RMB 200 billion.

In a 2022 interview with Forbes Asia. Wang Chuanfu, the Chinese billionaire whose BYD just usurped Tesla as the world’s biggest seller of electric cars offered some advice for entrepreneurs. “Do more and talk less.”

His Shenzhen-based company outpaced its USA rival in the first half of 2022, selling some 641,000 electric and hybrid plug-in models, versus Tesla’s 564,000. This marked a fourfold increase in BYD’s year-earlier sales, despite industry disruption from Covid-19 related lockdowns in Shanghai.

Behind its pole position is a portfolio of innovative tech, says Wang: “[BYD] has mastered the core technologies of the whole industrial chain of new energy vehicles, such as batteries, motors and electronic controls.”That list also includes semiconductors—BYD’s chipmaking arm, BYD Semiconductor, specializes in making the chips used in EVs, which has allowed the firm to get around shortages that disrupted sales of other EV makers.

In a global EV market projected to reach $824 billion by 2030 (at a CAGR of 18%), according to Portland-based Allied Market Research, “vertical integration is giving BYD long-term staying power while smaller rivals that aren’t yet vertically integrated will be driven out,” says Bill Russo, CEO of investment advisory firm Automobility in Shanghai.

In the first nine months of the year, BYD’s net profit nearly quadrupled to a record $1.3 billion year-on-year, fueled by new EV sales that soared 250% to 1.2 million over that period. Its market cap is around $100 billion, though short of Tesla, rivals the combined market values of U. S. incumbents Ford Motor and General Motors; and it’s given Wang a net worth of $17.7 billion and the No. 11 rank on China’s 100 Richest list.

Besides Wang, BYD has generated two other billionaires. Wang’s cofounder and cousin Lu Xiangyang, a non-executive director at BYD, who ranks No. 18 with a fortune worth $12.7 billion, and director Xia Zuoquan, though he missed the minimum for the list. Already a household name in China, where BYD makes up almost 70% of sales, Wang’s pursuing a more aggressive global push.

In Asia, the 56-year-old recently launched new EV models in Japan, Thailand and India, and plans to build factories in the latter two to increase capacity. In October, BYD introduced three electric models at the Paris Auto Show, part of bigger plans for Europe.

The company, which has over 30 production bases worldwide, said it expects to sell at least 1.5 million EVs this year, with a reported goal of 4 million in 2023. With know-how in hand, strategy becomes “the direction of enterprise success,” Wang says. “First, technology serves strategy, and secondly, it serves products.

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