Its name is short for “Build Your Dreams,” but could the “B” in BYD soon stand for “bust”?
It’s starting to look like that for the Chinese firm that started out as a cellphone battery supplier but has morphed into one of that country’s more ambitious, home-grown automakers.
The Shenzhen-based firm, which is backed by American mega-investor Warren Buffett, has suffered a series of setbacks in recent months, ranging from recalls to confrontations with Chinese authorities. But the latest problem could be one that BYD has trouble rectifying.
The maker reported a 99% drop in third-quarter earnings, this week, triggering an equally sharp downturn in its stock price, which is nearing its 52-week low. Whether the company’s charismatic founder and chairman, Wang Changfu, can turn things around remains to be seen, but there are few signs of any immediate turnaround.
It wasn’t supposed to go that way. BYD’s little F3 has been the best-selling car in China this year, but is feeling the pinch of regulatory changes.