Warren Buffett’s investment company Berkshire Hathaway sold 2.48 million Hong Kong-listed shares of Chinese electric vehicle (EV) maker BYD for HK$539.93 million ($68.78 million), a stock exchange filing showed.
The sale on March 31 lowered Berkshire’s holdings in BYD’s issued H-shares to 10.9% from 11.13%, the filing to the Hong Kong stock exchange on Tuesday showed.
The sale is part of a series of similar moves by Berkshire, which started selling its stake in the rapidly expanding automaker in late August last year. The group owned 20.49% of the company’s H shares at that time.
BYD was the world’s largest manufacturer of plug-in hybrids and pure EVs in 2022, expanding faster than US EV giant Tesla.
Last month, it reported an eleven-fold increase in fourth-quarter profit with 20.4% gross profit margin for automobiles and related products, well above its 3.7% margin in 2021.
Berkshire’s moves come amid a tech war between China and the United States, and growing fears of a financial decoupling between the world’s two biggest economies.
New chassis suspension system
On Monday, BYD launched a new chassis suspension system as part of its efforts to move upmarket with premium products.
The system, BYD DiSus Intelligent Body Control System, is similar to the chassis suspension systems available in premium and luxury cars, such as Porsche’s Dynamic Chassis Control and Mercedes Benz’s Magic Body Control.
The DiSus system will come in three variations and will be used in BYD’s luxury off-road SUV Yangwang U8 initially, BYD said in a statement. It will also be available in BYD’s Han, Tang and Denza models, it added.
The move underscores a shift for BYD, whose current car products are mostly concentrated in the mass market segment priced under 300,000 yuan ($43,641).
BYD launched its first luxury car brand Yangwang in January with an off-road SUV and a sports-car priced above 1 million yuan.
- Reuters, with additional editing by Vishakha Saxena