Aug. 24, 2009 (China Knowledge) - BYD Co<1211>, China's largest rechargeable battery maker and a well-known automobile producer, plans to sell its new all-electric battery-powered vehicle in the U.S. next year, ahead of the original schedule, said Chairman Wang Chuanfu, sources reported.
BYD will use some of the funds to be raised from a planned new-share sale in China to finance its business expansion in the U.S., where it will soon begin selling its five-seat e6, one of its most advanced cars, for just over US$40,000 each.
The firm will initially target government agencies, utilities and maybe some celebrities and will then choose a specific region in the country where it will sell a few hundred units through a small number of dealers.
The auto maker has reportedly formed a partnership with MidAmerican Energy Holding Co, a unit of Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc, which purchased a 9.9% stake in BYD for US$230 million in 2008.
MidAmerican Energy is ready to help BYD with the latter's foray into the U.S. auto market, said its chairman David Sokol, adding that the company also might invest in BYD's new initiatives in the U.S., which include automobiles, solar panels and battery technology for power utilities.
BYD aims to raise RMB 2.85 billion via a placement of not more than 100 million shares in an initial public offering on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange next year. The proceeds from the proposed A share issuance will be invested in the production of lithium ion batteries, expansion of an automobile parts and accessories unit, and the second phase of a solar battery manufacturing project.
The company earlier said it would seek approval of the plan from shareholders on Sep. 8.
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