Daimler AG and BYD Announce Joint Venture

In what appears to be a month for high profile joint ventures, the German automaker Daimler AG (ETR:DAI)and the Chinese automaker BYD Co. (HKG:1211) have announced that they will begin a partnership aimed directly at the burgeoning mainland Chinese market for electric cars. BYD’s other high profile shareholder is US billionaire Warren Buffet’s investment company Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A), with friends like these it appears BYD is set to grow into China’s 21st century runaway success story. China is currently the largest car market in the world and some estimates, like one today from consulting company IHS Global Insight for example, are putting global battery powered electric vehicle sales at 3% of total sales by the year 2020 (2,700,000 vehicles). There are many analysts who expect this number to be far higher, to the order of 10-15 larger, although estimates made for a decade into the future have a remarkably reliable habit of being way off base.

Toyota (TYO:7203) announced last week that it has bought a 50 million dollar stake in Tesla Motors, Tesla was also the target of a large investment by Daimler AG last year when they bought an estimated 10% stake in the boutique automaker.

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