Munger, Berkshire’s vice chairman and a Daily Journal board member, credited Li Lu, founder of Seattle-based asset manager Himalaya Capital, for introducing him to BYD. Munger also said BYD CEO Wang Chuanfu is unusual, calling him a genius and a workaholic.
Asked if he would prefer Tesla or BYD as an investment, Munger said the answer is easy.
“Tesla last year reduced its prices in China twice. BYD increased its prices. We are direct competitors. BYD is so much ahead of Tesla in China ... it’s almost ridiculous,” Munger said.
BYD recently said it expects record adjusted annual profit for 2022 of 16.3 billion yuan ($2.4 billion), about 1,200% above 2021.
“BYD last year made more than $2 billion after taxes in the auto business in China. It’s incredible what’s happened,” Munger said. “If you count all the manufacturing space they have in China to make cars, it would amount to a big percentage of the Manhattan island, and nobody had ever heard of them a few years ago.”
The longtime investor called Tesla CEO Elon Musk talented — and “peculiar.” He previously said what Musk achieved in the car business was a “minor miracle.”
“I don’t buy him, and I don’t short him,” Munger said Wednesday.