Cathie Wood chimes in on Tesla vs BYD debate Charlie

Cathie Wood chimes in on Tesla vs. BYD debate: “Charlie Munger and many on Wall Street don’t get it –

February 18, 2023 5:08 pm | 2 minutes read

After billionaire investor Charlie Munger fired all guns on the launch of electric vehicles in China BYD Manufacturing Company Limited (OTC: BYDDY) (OTC: BYDDF) superiority over Tesla, Inc. (NASDAQ:TSLA), Ark Invests Cathie Wood intervened with her opinion on the matter.

What happened: Munger and many on Wall Street don’t understand that in Tesla’s case, passing on the lower costs associated with technology-enabled innovations in batteries and powertrains will lead to a boom in unit demand, Wood said in defense of its flagship position Ark Innovation ETF (NYSE:ARKK).

This would discredit the Keynesian/Fed Phillips curve model, she added.

The fund manager’s comments came in response to a CNBC video clip of Munger’s interview shared by a Tesla influencer.

In justifying his preference for BYD over Tesla, Warren Buffett Trusted business partner said that while Tesla cut prices in China twice last year, BYD increased its prices. “If you count all the manufacturing space that BYD has in China to make cars, that would be a large percentage of the total land on Manhattan Island,” he said.


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Why it matters: Munger’s claims about BYD could be controversial. In 2022, the Chinese company sold 911.40 battery electric vehicles compared to the 1.314 million vehicles Tesla shipped in the same period. Only when plug-in hybrids are included will BYD’s 2022 sales of 1.86 million vehicles surpass those of Tesla, which is a pure battery EV.

However, it should be noted that a majority of BYD’s sales come from China and only a small portion comes from overseas sales. Tesla’s balance sheet refers to its worldwide sales. The lack of a sub-$30,000 car in China could impact Tesla’s volume, according to the Future Fund Gary Black.

Tesla generates far better profit per vehicle compared to BYD. Tesla’s earnings per vehicle for the April-December period were $9,400 compared to $1,820 for Tesla Toyota Motor Corp. (NYSE:TM) and $1,454 for BYD, according to a Nikkei report earlier this year.

The U.S. electric vehicle maker’s global operations and vertically integrated business give the company this cost advantage to tinker with its pricing.

Tesla closed Friday’s session up 3.10% at $208.31, according to Benzinga Pro data.

Continue reading: Tesla On 6-Week Winning Streak, Volkswagen’s Under $25,000 Car, Ford’s Efficiency Drive and More: This Week’s Biggest EV Stories

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