BYD Company, Ltd.
Considers whether BYD Co., Ltd., the largest Chinese maker of rechargeable batteries, should enter the Chinese automobile industry by acquiring Qinchuan Auto, a state-owned car manufacturer. Set just after BYD's initial public offering on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in 2002, it describes the development of BYD's labor-intensive approach to battery manufacturing--an approach decidedly different from its more capital-intensive Japanese competitors and one that took advantage of the abundant supply of low-cost labor in China. Highlights the unique benefits and challenges created by BYD's operations strategy and asks students to determine whether the capabilities developed by the company in battery manufacturing can productively be applied to the automobile sector. Asks students to consider which, if any, aspects of BYD's operations constitute sources of sustainable competitive advantage for the company.