2010年10月27日 星期三


Buffett’s Chinese car dream sours

From building dreams to breaking them: Warren Buffett’s favourite Chinese car maker BYD, otherwise known as Build Your Dreams, revealed a hope-shattering drop in third quarter earnings of 99 per cent on Tuesday.

从成就梦想到击碎梦想:沃伦•巴菲特(Warren Buffett)最钟爱的中国汽车制造商比亚迪(BYD)(又称“成就你的梦想”——Build Your Dreams)周二披露,第三季盈利下滑99%,令人希望破灭。

It’s not a sign of anything terminal for the Shenzhen-based company in which Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway has a 10 per cent stake. But it is a nightmarish sign (at least for investors whose optimism had not already been extinguished) that the golden days are over.

对于比亚迪,这不是什么致命的迹象。但它是一个噩梦般的迹象(至少对于乐观情绪尚未被 浇灭的投资者们),表明黄金岁月已经结束。比亚迪总部位于深圳,巴菲特的伯克希尔哈撒韦(Berkshire Hathaway)拥有该公司10%股份。比亚迪周二宣布截至9月份的9个月业绩结果,但基于其头6个月业绩计算得出的结果表明,第三季净盈利暴跌至仅有 1180万元人民币(合178万美元),相比之下,去年同期为11.6亿元人民币。

BYD on Tuesday was announcing results for the nine months to September, but a calculation based on its results for the first six months indicated that third quarter net earnings had plunged to just Rmb11.8m ($1.78m) compared with Rmb1.16bn in the same period last year.


Why? Weakening sales.


In reaction, the company’s shares in Hong Kong fell over 10 per cent on Tuesday to a one month low, their biggest one-day drop in nearly two years.


BYD, which started out making batteries, had raised a warning flag in August by cutting its car sales target for the year by 25 per cent to 600,000 vehicles, but its results were worse than analysts had expected.


BYD has become a high-profile example of a Chinese company that has grown spectacularly for a while but then struggled to reinvent itself fast enough to maintain the momentum. This time last year its F3 car was one of the most popular in China, but now it has lost favour and vanished from the top ten sellers.

富昌金融集团(Fulbright Securities)总经理蔺常念(Francis Lun)就比亚迪周二的业绩告诉路透社(Reuters):当其他汽车制造商在发布强劲的业绩时,比亚迪盈利剧跌让投资者们感到失望……它似乎表明产品存在问题。

On Tuesday’s results, Francis Lun, general manager at Fulbright Securities, told Reuters:


Investors were disappointed by its sharp drop in earnings when other automakers were posting strong results … It suggested that the products are having problems.


The company has also delayed its plans to export electric cars to the US, and it has had seven facilities seized by the Chinese authorities this year after it was accused of building them illegally.


As the FT reported last week, mainland auto sales have consistently outperformed expectations over the past 18 months, spurred in part by government stimulus measures including tax breaks.


As the effect of stimulus measures fades, the rate of sales expansion in both August and September slowed to 17-18 per cent compared with the previous year - although those are still figures that car salesmen in the sickly west can only dream about.

随着比亚迪在上季度市场份额流失,以通用汽车(General Motors)和大众汽车(Volkswagen)为首的早已站稳脚跟的外国制造商,在中国扩大了地盘。

BYD’s sales, meanwhile, were down 19 per cent from the previous year in August and down 25 per cent in September.

2月份,《中国经济季刊》(China Economic Quarterly)创始编辑周博(Joe Studwell)在英国《金融时报》上聚焦比亚迪规模较小的另一块业务——电池制造,他表示:冰箱、微波炉、电视机、钢铁、摩托车、汽车和现在的新能源 企业:都造就了产量十分可观的中国制造商,但这些产量不能转化为在长期内支持股价上升的那种盈利。

As BYD lost market share in the past quarter, long-established foreign manufacturers led by General Motors and Volkswagen gained ground in China.


In the FT in February, Joe Studwell, founding editor of the China Economic Quarterly, focused on another, smaller part of BYD’s business - battery making - and said:


Fridges, microwave ovens, television sets, steel, motorbikes, cars, and now new energy businesses: all have given rise to Chinese manufacturers with very substantial production volumes that have failed to translate into the kind of earnings that sustain rising share prices in the long run.