Warren Buffett's Bold Bet on BYD's Electric Vehicle Revolution

Warren Buffett's Bold Bet on BYD's Electric Vehicle Revolution

Hikaru Nakamura
2 min read

Warren Buffett's Bold Bet on BYD's Electric Vehicle Revolution

Berkshire Hathaway's initial investment of $230 million in BYD, a Chinese electric vehicle (EV) startup, has seen a staggering increase to $8 billion, propelled by the explosive growth of the EV market. This unexpected move by Warren Buffett, who traditionally shied away from early-stage tech investments, was significantly influenced by Charlie Munger's admiration for BYD's CEO, Wang Chuanfu, who rose from humble beginnings as a peasant's son to an esteemed engineering professor. Munger likened Chuanfu's ingenuity to that of iconic innovators like Thomas Edison and Bill Gates.

BYD's trajectory from a mobile phone battery manufacturer in the 1990s to a prominent automotive brand in China and a major EV battery producer has been nothing short of remarkable. In a milestone achievement in 2023, BYD surpassed Tesla to clinch the top spot as the world's leading EV manufacturer, outpacing Elon Musk's formidable company.

Key Takeaways

  • Berkshire Hathaway's $230 million investment in BYD surged to an astounding $8 billion.
  • Charlie Munger persuaded Warren Buffett to invest in BYD, marking a departure from traditional investment strategies.
  • BYD overtook Tesla as the world's top EV manufacturer in the fourth quarter of 2023.
  • Munger extolled BYD CEO Wang Chuanfu's extraordinary journey from humble beginnings to a pioneering engineering luminary.
  • Berkshire Hathaway's stake in BYD has decreased to 5.99% from 7%.


Berkshire Hathaway's strategic pivot towards BYD signifies a strong bet on China's burgeoning EV boom, exerting a substantial influence on both companies and investors. Munger's championing of BYD CEO Wang Chuanfu underscores the rare venture into tech by Buffett, driven by exceptional leadership. The exponential growth of the investment to $8 billion underscores a shrewd market maneuver, although Berkshire's recent reduction in stake signals potential profit-taking or prudence in a dynamic market. In the short run, BYD's market dominance bolsters shareholders and fortifies China's leadership in EVs. In the long run, this move could stabilize Berkshire's diversified portfolio and fuel BYD's global expansion despite competitive pressures.

Did You Know?

  • BYD (Build Your Dreams): A Chinese multinational company pioneering in the manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs), rechargeable batteries, and solar panels, initially focusing on battery technology in 1995. Founded by Wang Chuanfu, BYD later expanded into the automotive sector, emerging as a global leader in EV manufacturing.
  • Charlie Munger: An American investor and the vice-chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, Munger has played a pivotal role in influencing Buffett's investment philosophy, particularly in the decision to invest in BYD, acknowledging its innovative prowess and leadership.
  • Warren Buffett's investment strategy: Warren Buffett, known as the "Oracle of Omaha," is renowned for his value investing approach, typically avoiding early-stage technology investments in favor of established, profitable companies with strong fundamentals. His uncharacteristic investment in BYD, a dynamic and evolving tech company, signaled a significant departure from his typical investment criteria, heavily influenced by his esteemed partner, Charlie Munger.

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