Buffett: Tesla doesn't threaten me

Warren Buffett's new auto dealership business isn't under any threat from Elon Musk or his Tesla distribution model, the billionaire said Tuesday.

Speaking to CNBC at a forum hosted by the National Automobile Dealers Association, J.D. Power and the New York International Auto Show, Buffett said he did not anticipate much of a threat from the electric car company's direct-to-consumer model because of Tesla's relatively small market.

"I would doubt if it picks up much steam," he said of the company's sales model. "What Tesla does with it, we'll find out. But I do not see the distribution system changing in any major way."

Berkshire Hathaway Automotive Chairman Larry Van Tuyl agreed, saying at a panel that he did not see Tesla as much of a threat to the network of 81 dealerships that he oversees.

Read MoreBillionaire car dealers could multiply

"I don't see any serious volume potential there, and their pricing for what they build may be fine, but it's certainly at the upper end, so I just don't see it as a volume product," he said.

Buffett also dismissed the notion of an near-term takeover of self-driving cars, saying "I think it's a long way off and I don't think everybody will adopt it." The billionaire said that he would bet there is less than a 10 percent penetration rate for self-driving cars by 2030.

He did admit, however, that "if it's a safer way of driving, it's good for society and it's bad for our insurance business."

Buffett also revealed Tuesday that he has big plans for his newly acquired unit, and that it is already on the prowl for new deals. (Tweet This)

"I'd be very surprised if five years from now we aren't a whole lot bigger," he said.

Buffett acquired the Van Tuyl Group earlier this year, renaming the largest private chain of car dealers Berkshire Hathaway Automotive. Van Tuyl became the chairman of the unit when it was officially launched this month.

Van Tuyl told CNBC the group is largely looking at acquiring higher-volume U.S. targets that are reasonably priced.

Frederic J. Brown | AFP | Getty Images

"We like volume," he said later Tuesday at a panel, adding that the unit is also interested in acquiring real estate. He said the business is considering expanding out of its current 10 states, but will likely stay within the country.

Buffett said that any purchases will be made with a long-term outlook, so he is not worried about inflated prices from the strong car sales market this year.

"This is the beginning of a journey that will have no end," Buffett said in a March press release. "Cecil and Larry [Van Tuyl] have given us the ideal platform with which to build an auto dealership business that will be thriving and growing 50 and 100 years from now. The fun has just started."

Buffett originally announced his intention to buy the Van Tuyl Group on CNBC in October. At the time of the announcement, the business was No. 5 overall in U.S. auto dealerships, boasting about $9 billion in revenue.

Turning to his involvement in other recent business moves, Buffett said the planned merger between H.J. Heinz and Kraft Foods would not necessarily be the end of his food acquisitions.

Read MoreBuffett's HJ Heinz to merge with Kraft Foods

"We would hope it would not be the last major transaction, but we would only do transactions that are friendly ... but there is no finish line," he said, adding that he has not discussed any potential targets with private equity firm 3G Capital.

"We may talk about different people's businesses, but it would probably be a question of somebody coming to us," he said.

Still, as Buffett said later at the panel from the forum, "I think about owning everything." (Tweet This)

He also addressed the situation in Europe, saying that a Greek exit from the euro zone "may not be a bad thing for the euro."

"The euro is not dead and it may never be dead," he said. "But it does have to work in greater harmonization of financial matters in its constituent countries."

Read MoreWarren Buffett's advice to LeBron James

Buffett said he doesn't have a bet on which way things will go in Europe.

The billionaire also answered questions about the nuclear talks with Iran. He stressed his belief that it is important Tehran never control nuclear weapons.

Turning to the U.S. economy, Buffett said he "wouldn't do much" if he were at the Federal Reserve.

"Things are working pretty well and I would be worried that if I raised rates significantly with negative interest rates in Europe, I would be very worried about what that would do to the flow of funds," he said.

Extrapolating on that point, Buffett said he thought it "would throw a big monkey wrench into things if we were to move rates up a lot." He added that the Fed still has a long road ahead for nursing the U.S. economy back to perfect health from the financial crisis.