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  • Writer's pictureRealFacts Editorial Team

Berkshire’s Electric Exit: Profiting from BYD’s Rise


BYD car

Under Charlie Munger’s strategic guidance, Berkshire Hathaway embarked on a significant investment journey with BYD, China’s leading electric vehicle manufacturer. Recently, Warren Buffett’s conglomerate sold 1.3 million Hong Kong-listed BYD shares, yielding about $39.8 million. This sale is part of an ongoing strategic reduction, lowering Berkshire’s ownership from 7% to 6.9%. The divestiture aligns with earlier actions taken in 2022 and 2023, taking advantage of BYD’s impressive stock price surge, which rose nearly 600% from 2008 levels to a record high in April 2022.


Berkshire Hathaway’s initial $230 million investment in BYD in 2008, acquiring approximately 225 million shares, marked the beginning of a highly profitable venture. This decision was driven by the foresight of Charlie Munger and Warren Buffett, who recognized the burgeoning potential of the electric vehicle market. Their investment capitalized on China’s rapid expansion in the EV sector and BYD’s evolution from a modest battery manufacturer to a leading electric vehicle producer. As Berkshire reduced its stake, it adhered to Hong Kong’s disclosure regulations, reporting changes only when ownership crosses whole percentage thresholds, indicating future updates if their stake falls below 6%.


BYD’s exceptional growth highlights the vision of its founder, Wang Chuanfu, who shifted the company’s focus from mobile phone battery production in the 1990s to automotive prominence by 2003. This strategic pivot propelled BYD to become the world’s top EV manufacturer by sales in the fourth quarter of 2023, surpassing Tesla. The significant role played by Charlie Munger, who credited Li Lu of Himalaya Capital for introducing him to BYD, underscores the importance of visionary leadership and strategic partnerships in navigating and excelling in the dynamic electric vehicle industry.


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