In Clean Car Race, China Beats Prius, Tesla To Cuba
When Cubans open the flood gates to American tourists, the modern,
electric vehicle fleets they see on the roads alongside the tradition
cars from the 1950s would have been built in China and not Japan, not
On Friday, Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD (Build Your Dreams) said
it will supply Cuba’s tourism industry with something like 719 EV
sedans. The order was signed in Havana on July 3 between Rodrigo
Malmierca Díaz, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Trade and Investment, Wang
Chuanfu, BYD CEO, and Xu Qin, Mayor of Shenzhen where BYD is located.
Cuba is buying a fleet of fuel efficient cars to support its growing
tourist industry. The order for its first 719 vehicles will be Cuba’s
first fleet of tourist rental vehicles and BYD’s largest vehicle order
in the Cuban market. BYD said in a statement that all vehicles in the
fleet will be BYD models, namely the sedans Suri, L3 and G6, the SUV S6,
and the MPV M6.
BYD’s press office could not be reached for further comment.
BYD first appeared in the Cuban market last November with its F3 sedan
and S6 SUV during the Havana International Expo. The S6 model won the
Exhibition’s Design Award. The Cuban government purchased 40 BYD
passenger cars last year for tourism, but the Diaz said Cuba might
eventually expand its order for government official vehicles. The retail
market has not been developed.
BYD said it will build an after-sales service center in Cuba at some
point in the near-future.
BYD’s claim to fame began when Warren Buffet announced he acquired a 10%
stake in the company through his investment firm Berkshire Hathaway in
September 2008. Since then, the stock listed on the Hong Kong exchange
is up 355.05%. It’s up 33.3% year-to-date, beating Toyota and Tesla.
BYD got its start in the 1990s as a mobile phone battery maker. It has
since evolved into producing hybrid and electric vehicles, with most of
its bus line products being acquired by northern European governments.
The group plans to take on Tesla in the electronic car and EV battery
market, backed by the smarts and the financial muscle of Buffet to make
Beyond Cuba, China’s recent green initiatives, including higher taxation
on polluting industries, bodes especially well for BYDs future. Shanghai
police recently placed orders for BYD sedans. At a simple stroke of the
Chinese government’s pen, BYD could be firing on all four cylinders if
state and municipal governments opted to replace taxis or diesel fuel
burning busses with BYD vehicles.
Source: In Clean Car Race, China Beats Prius, Tesla To Cuba –