China's BYD Co Ltd <1211.HK>, backed by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett, aims to sharply boost its car exports this year, banking on improving demand as the global economy recovers, an executive said on Tuesday.
BYD, which makes both cars and batteries, is aiming to export 5-10 percent of the 800,000 vehicles it expects to produce this year, up sharply from last year when it exported about 2.2 percent of its 450,000 vehicles, said marketing department manager Paul Lin.
Exports in 2009 were about the same as 2008 due to the financial crisis, Lin told Reuters in an interview at the company's headquarters. Exports this year should be many times higher.
Lin added that BYD is aiming to enter the Western European market for clean technology cars next year, following its plans to export electric cars to the United States as soon as this year.
Hong Kong-listed BYD said last year it would like to list A-shares in Shenzhen to help fund its expansion plans. Lin said the company's A-share IPO plan is in progress, and he is confident the offering will occur by year-end.
(Reporting by Alison Leung; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)