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A BYD (Build Your Dreams) logo is seen on the front of an e6 electric vehicle during the press days for the North American International Auto show in Detroit, Michigan, in this January 11, 2011 file photo. (MARK BLINCH/REUTERS)
A BYD (Build Your Dreams) logo is seen on the front of an e6 electric vehicle during the press days for the North American International Auto show in Detroit, Michigan, in this January 11, 2011 file photo. (MARK BLINCH/REUTERS)

BYD to cut sales staff by 70% Add to ...

BYD Co Ltd , a Chinese car maker backed by U.S. billionaire Warren Buffett, plans to cut its sales force by about 70 per cent, a Chinese website said on Tuesday, after the company reported a nearly 90-per-cent drop in first-half earnings,

About 1,000 people in BYD’s sales arm would be asked to resign initially, with the ultimate goal of cutting the headcount to 800, from 2,600, eeo.com.cn said on Tuesday, citing unnamed BYD employees.

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Further layoffs in other departments were possible, the website reported said.

Several BYD executives contacted by Reuters either declined to comment or could not be reached.

BYD, 10 per cent owned by Mr. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc , reported an 89-per-cent plunge in net income in the first half, lagging domestic rivals.

State auto group SAIC Motor Corp Ltd reported a 46-per-cent jump in earnings during the period, while Geely Automobile Holdings Ltd said net income rose 17 per cent.

Xia Zhibin, head of the BYD’s sales unit, resigned earlier in the month citing personal reasons. Analysts said slumping sales were likely to have played a part in the move.

BYD sold 259,915 vehicles in the first seven months, down 19.3 per cent from a year earlier.

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