BYD mourns Munger

Nonagenarian Buffet right-hand man and early investor in the Chinese OEM passes away

BYD mourns Munger
The investor passed away a month shy of his centenary

China's BYD has described Charlie Munger as "one of its earliest and most significant supporters" after the investor's death at the age of 99.

Munger was the long-time investment partner of the so-called "Sage of Omaha" Warren Buffett and vice-chairman of the latter's Berkshire Hathaway investment firm.

Berkshire owns just under 8pc of BYD, having first invested in the Chinese automaker as far back as 2008. But its current stake is a significantly reduced holding from over 20pc in late 2021.

“Charlie Munger was not just an investor; he was a visionary who believed in the potential of electric vehicles and renewable energy long before they became global imperatives,” says Stella Li, president of BYD Americas.

“Charlie’s unwavering support and guidance were instrumental in shaping BYD into the global clean energy leader it is today. His legacy will continue to inspire our innovation and drive us forward.”

BYD says Munger was a "passionate" supporter of EVs and renewable energy. He died peacefully at a California hospital, only just over a month before his 100th birthday.

In one of his most recent interviews before his death, Munger told US broadcaster CNBC in February that "BYD is so far ahead of Tesla in China, it is almost ridiculous".

"If you count all the manufacturing space [BYD] has in China to make cars, it would amount to a big percentage of all the land on Manhattan Island," Munger said. And he suggested that the firm was likely to increase its auto sales by another 50pc in 2023.

"It is not a cheap stock but, on the other hand, it is a very remarkable company," the investor continued. And he described the company founder Wang Chuanfu as a "genius", who took his "tiny, nothing company" making mobile phones and decided to buy a "bankrupt, little, crappy auto plant", making it an "unheard of" success.

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