GUANGZHOU, China--BYD is a small automaker here but a major producer of lithium ion batteries for cell phones.
The company wants to use its expertise in batteries to make practical plug-in hybrids.
At the Detroit auto show, BYD will show its F3DM plug-in hybrid, which is on sale in China in limited numbers.
BYD President Wang Chuanfu told Automotive News China that U.S. sales are possible in 2011, but he has not spelled out specific plans.
In September, BYD received a $232 million investment from American billionaire Warren Buffett.
BYD also plans to show another plug-in hybrid, the F6DM, and the E6, a seven-seat electric van.
Another Chinese automaker, Shenyang Brilliance Jinbei Automotive, will display four models in Detroit: the BS6 mid-size sedan, the BS4 compact car, the BC3 sporty coupe, and the FRV hatchback.
Brilliance plans to sell cars in the United States but has provided no details about its distribution and dealership plans.
One company source expects Brilliance to attempt U.S. sales in about 2011.
The company is reworking the BS6 and BS4 so both can meet stringent U.S. crash and emissions standards. Brilliance hired Porsche AG to work on the crash engineering of the BS6 and BS4. FEV, a U.S. engine technology company, will redo the cars' emissions engineering.
In China, Brilliance operates a joint venture with BMW AG that produces BMW cars.
(Source: Automotive News)