25% of auto-industry super-rich from China

Updated: 2014-04-18 07:21

By Shi Jing in Shanghai and Wang Wen in Beijing (China Daily)

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Third richest is Wang Chuanfu, chairman of the Shenzhen-based BYD Co Ltd, one of three private car brands in China. During 2008's financial crisis, Warren Buffett paid HK$1.8 billion for a stake and became a major shareholder. Wang topped Hurun's rich list the following year. Wang and his cousin Lyu Xiangyang own 24 percent and 17 percent of BYD respectively.

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Wang said in August the company was undergoing "a second takeoff" as it sought to increase overseas sales of its electric bus.

Trailing Wang is Li Shufu, founder of Zhejiang-based Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd, and his family. Last year Geely was worth more than HK$25 billion and reported sales of $4.8 billion. Profit was nearly $450 million. Li bought AB Volvo in 2010 - 83 years after the Swedish company rolled its first car off the production line - for $1.5 billion.

Chinese companies can grow in the European market by working with firms there with established sales, maintenance and resale networks, said Jacques Rad��, a partner and automotive expert at Roland Berger Strategy Consultants. That would keep total ownership costs competitive.

Nearly half the billionaires on the list own car brands, 36 specialize in auto retailing and the rest in parts. Eight people from Germany and eight from the US made the list. Four are from India.

The global top three are BMW AG heiress Susanne Klatten, the company's deputy chairman of the supervisory board Stefan Quandt and his mother Johanna Quandt, who own nearly half of BMW.

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