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China’s BYD again pledges to sell cars in U.S.

Chinese automaker BYD, which has been promising to bring its cars to the U.S. for at least five years, now says that’ll happen late next year, according to a story filed by Bloomberg News.

The Chinese car company — U.S. investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway bought 9.9% of it in 2009 — had said it would be selling cars here by 2010.

“Back then, we had passion, but we had no brand, no history, no capital and no competitive advantage,” Bloomberg quoted said Stella Li, senior vice president in charge of the company’s U.S. business, as saying during an interview at BYD’s headquarters in Shenzhen in China’s southern Guangdong province.

“BYD has become more fashionable and we have improved our design and safety. We do’t want to compete on price anymore, but on quality and innovation,” she told Bloomberg.

BYD specializes in electric vehicles, and is preparing to build electric buses in California.

BYD displays vehicles at the big Detroit auto show every January, usually with a pledge that U.S. buyers would see them soon.

Geely once seemed to be in the lead for U.S. market cars. It had a U.S. office and was lining up dealers, but pulled back to concentrate elsewhere. It, too, exhibited at the Detroit show, but the cars on display had flaws, suggesting the maker was’t ready for demanding U.S.buyers.

Geely Holding Group later bought Swedish car company Volvo from Ford Motor for $1.5 billion.

China’s Great Wall Motor also has said it wants to sell in the U.S.

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