BYD Spins Off Electric-Car Battery Company With Eye on Future Listing
BYD Co. Ltd. is restructuring its battery business in order to list the promising unit sometime in the next two years, a senior executive said, as the Chinese new-energy vehicle (NEV) giant looks to sell more of its proprietary cells to other carmakers.
Head of branding and public relations Li Yunfei said Monday at the Shanghai Auto Show that BYD’s spinoff Shenzhen Pingshan Fudi Battery Co. Ltd. — which trades under the name FinDreams Battery — has taken full control of the Shenzhen- and Hong Kong-listed automaker’s battery business.
The remarks came a week after FinDreams announced it will build six more production lines in the southwestern city of Chongqing to produce its self-developed lithium iron phosphate cells, a move that will expand its total capacity in the metropolis to 35 gigawatt-hours (GWh) per year, up from 20 GWh as of last June.
Warren Buffett-backed BYD has sloughed off five “FinDreams”-branded companies in the last two years in a bid to offset risks while also speeding up components sales, wooing investors and energizing staff and managers with the prospect of fresh IPOs. Findreams Battery is also seen as an attempt to go toe-to-toe with dominant domestic rival Contemporary Amperex Technology Co. Ltd., which boasted around half of China’s market for NEV batteries last year, according to ratings agency Fitch.
The cell-maker’s expansion in Chongqing — combined with existing projects in the Chinese cities of Guiyang, Changsha and Bengbu — will bring its planned nationwide production capacity to 75 GWh per year, according to a Caixin calculation.
FinDreams has two known clients, U.S. auto titan Ford Motor Co. and Chinese carmaker FAW Group Corp.’s Hongqi marque. But Li told Caixin there were “more than nine” partners working with the company, and said the firm’s true business scope would become clearer as more models fitted with its cells appeared on the market.
Public records show (link in Chinese) that FinDreams Battery was established in 2019. The company makes BYD’s signature “blade batteries,” which the company says are safer and cheaper than conventional batteries because they do not use expensive cobalt.
FinDreams has played down its ties to BYD since the split, repeatedly saying its parent is just one customer among several. But the cell-maker’s independence is hard to gauge, with public records showing that it shares an address with a BYD facility in Shenzhen, has the same legal representative and even uses the same format for its company email addresses.
Although FinDreams is China’s second-largest NEV battery supplier by installed capacity, its heavy reliance on BYD means its sales fluctuate with the fortunes of its parent.
According to data from GG-lb.com, a website that publishes research on China’s battery sector, FinDreams’ annual installed capacity declined 16.5% last year to 9 GWh. BYD has claimed that installed capacity data underestimates true battery sales because it fails to account for vehicles that have been fitted with batteries but not yet been shipped.
Contact reporter Matthew Walsh (firstname.lastname@example.org) and editor Joshua Dummer (email@example.com)
Download our app to receive breaking news alerts and read the news on the go.
Follow the Chinese markets in real time with Caixin Global’s new stock database.
- MOST POPULAR