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      Zhejiang Qicheng Machinery(Group)Co.,LTD
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      BYD plans to increase automobile production

      Chinese battery and car maker BYD Co. said Monday it plans to boost capital spending 59% in 2010 to expand its automobile production amid robust domestic demand.

      China replaced the U.S. as the world's biggest auto market last year, when sales in China rose 46% to 13.6 million cars as the government introduced measures to encourage auto purchases amid the global financial crisis. Shenzhen-based BYD benefited from those measures, which helped the company more than double its sales to 450,000 cars in 2009. The car maker reiterated Monday its target of selling 800,000 autos this year.

      BYD, which was thrust into the spotlight after a company controlled by Warren Buffett bought a 9.89% stake in BYD in 2008, said it has set aside 10 billion yuan ($1.47 billion) to expand three auto-manufacturing facilities and market the launch of its first fully electric car in the U.S.

      The company's capital expenditure totaled 6.3 billion yuan last year.

      BYD Chairman Wang Chuanfu said Monday the company is on track to launch its all-electric car, the E6, in the U.S. during the second half of 2010. Mr. Wang added that the company will target government institutions, celebrities and environmentalists as initial customers.

      He said the company plans to open a U.S. sales headquarters to prepare for the launch of the E6.

      "Export sales will definitely increase after the launch of the E6, but it will take time for exports to contribute to a significant portion of the company's revenue," Mr. Wang said at a news conference.

      The company plans to launch the E6 in Shenzhen later this year, while the hybrid F3DM will be available starting in April.

      Mr. Wang said he expects the company's car-making operations to contribute more than 60% of its 2010 revenue, up from 53% in 2009.

      On Sunday, BYD said its 2009 net profit more than tripled to 3.79 billion yuan amid strong car sales.

      Earlier this month, the company agreed to team up with Daimler AG of Germany to develop electric cars for the Chinese market. Mr. Wang said Monday that BYD and Daimler will set up a research-and-development center to develop a joint-branded vehicle, but didn't give a time frame.

      Established in 1995, BYD began as a manufacturer of rechargeable lithium-ion and nickel batteries but has branched out into producing cellphone parts and alternative-fuel cars.

      Its background in battery production caught the attention of Mr. Buffett as interest in electric vehicles grew amid surging oil prices and the likelihood of international efforts to reduce emissions from fossil fuels.

      Mr. Buffett's investment helped underpin the company's ambition to sell cars in developed markets such as the U.S.