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BYD Has Tesla In Its Sights After a Year of Runaway Growth

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Covid lockdowns, supply chain woes and power shortages hampering China's auto industry haven't been enough to halt BYD Co.'s relentless advance to dominate the world's biggest electric-vehicle market.

Now, it has Elon Musk's Tesla Inc. in its sights. The Berkshire Hathaway Inc.-backed automaker will enter 2023 on a roll, with record vehicle sales, revenue and profitability, driven by the appeal of its affordable cars in China's mass market.

It's now making a play for cashed-up buyers in the premium end of the market with two luxury brands, pitting itself against Tesla's pricier cars. “The two segments BYD doesn't have exposure to are the luxury SUV and sports car markets, which we expect BYD will expand into in 2023,” says Bridget McCarthy, head of China operations for green tech-focused US hedge fund Snow Bull Capital. “These are the two most profitable vehicle segments, so bottom-line growth in 2023 will excite investors.” The first of the two new brands, Yangwang, will launch in the first quarter, targeting affluent professionals with promises of high performance and disruptive technologies.

More intriguingly, BYD also is touting a new brand that it says will be “grounded in highly professional and personalized identities” to cater to the “diversified demands” of customers.

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