Chinese vehicle giant BYD opens its first European electric bus factory

By BO LEUNG | China Daily UK | Updated: 2017-04-05 17:54

Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD unveiled its first European electric bus factory, in the northern Hungarian city of Komarom, on Tuesday and hailed it as a significant day for BYD and the Hungarian economy.

Chinese vehicle giant BYD opens its first European electric bus factory

An electric bus from the range made by Chinese automaker BYD, which now has a European plant.  [China Daily]

Representatives of the company and the Hungarian government officiated at the grand opening at the 66,000-square-meter complex.

Production at the 20 million euro ($21 million) plant is set to begin within days, according to BYD.

The plant currently employs 32 people but BYD plans create 300 jobs, mostly for Hungarians.

Isbrand Ho, managing tor of BYD Europe, said the company was looking to buy more land to expand the plant and increase the number of employees to 600.

The factory will produce 200 buses per year at first, rising to 400. The vehicles will be sold and exported to customers throughout Europe.

During the ceremony, Ho explained why BYD chose the Hungarian location.

"Firstly, because of its central reinforcing that industry and we are proud to be at the forefront of that movement."

Duan Jielong, Chinese ambassador to Hungary, said: "I hope the BYD investment project can achieve mutual benefits and common development and move forward the bilateral cooperation on production capacity, inclusive of the automotive industry; by making full use of the advantages with our joint efforts."

Although the factory will begin with building electric buses and coaches, BYD said other products, including electric forklift trucks and light commercial vehicles, will follow.

Peter Szijjarto, Hungary's minister of foreign affairs and trade, said: "We are very pleased that BYD, a major Chinese multinational on the cutting edge of new automotive technology, has innovation and the international competitiveness of its auto sector."

BYD has become an industry leader in electric-powered public transportation. In March, it announced the acquisition of an 80,000-square-meter site for a plant in Beauvais, north of Paris.

BYD also has an agreement to provide motors, drive-trains and batteries to Alexander Dennis in Falkirk, Scotland, and has sold electric buses to London's transport authorities. It recently agreed to provide electric single-deckers to the northwest British city of Liverpool.


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