BYD to build key bus plant in Hun­gary

Fac­tory will be first to be built by a Chi­nese car­maker in Europe

China Daily (USA) - - BUSINESS - By FU JING in Brus­sels fu­jing@chi­

BYD, China’s lead­ing elec­tric au­tomaker, will in­vest 20 mil­lion eu­ros ($22.2 mil­lion) to construct a bus as­sem­bly plant in Hun­gary, the first one to be built by a Chi­nese car­maker in Europe.

The com­pany, a fast grow­ing sup­plier of pure elec­tric buses to cities across Europe in re­cent years, said its de­ci­sion, which will cre­ate 300 newjobs, was based onHun­gary’s engi­neer­ing ex­cel­lence and com­pet­i­tive la­bor costs.

Hun­gary’s ac­tive “East­ward Pol­icy”, aimed at at­tract­ing in­vest­ment and boost­ing trade flows from out­side the Euro­peanUnion, was also a con­sid­er­a­tion in help­ing to fi­nal­ize the deal.

“The Hun­gar­ian plant will be­gin pro­duc­tion in the first quar­ter of 2017. It will have its own R&D cen­ter and bat­tery test fa­cil­ity,” Is­brandHo, BYD’s Europe man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, told China Daily. Is­brand Ho,

Ho made the an­nounce­ment on Mon­day at a cer­e­mony in Bu­dapest. The plant will be lo­cated in the north­ern Hun­gar­ian city of Ko­marom.

He said the fac­tory will even­tu­ally em­ploy up to 300 peo­ple and be ca­pa­ble of as­sem­bling up to 400 ve­hi­cles a year on two shifts, with ini­tial out­put fo­cus­ing on BYD’s range of emis­sion-free elec­tric buses and fork­lift trucks.

Ho re­vealed that his com­pany is still ex­plor­ing other Euro­pean lo­ca­tions for as­sem­bly plants.

“The an­nounce­ment re­in­forces our com­pany’s com­mit­ment to the Euro­pean mar­ket,” saidHo.

“This is our first man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­ity but it won’t be our last — we are ac­tively look­ing for other lo­ca­tions”.

Ho said BYD, with its e-buses and cars run­ning in cities such as London, Am­s­ter­dam and Brus­sels, is help­ing Euro­pean coun­tries cut car­bon emis­sions, a key move as the Paris cli­mate change agree­ment will come into ef­fect soon fol­low­ing strong sup­port by China, the US and the EU.

Duan Jie­long, the Chi­nese am­bas­sador toHun­gary, said it was no sur­prise that sales of the BYD elec­tric bus were grow­ing rapidly in coun­tries such as the UK, France and theNether­lands as the diesel era comes to an end.

“The e-bus project has not only shown the com­mit­ment of the Hun­gar­ian gov­ern­ment in de­vel­op­ing green trans­porta­tion but also will help re­build the com­pet­i­tive­ness of the coun­try’s bus in­dus­try,” said Duan.

It will have its own R&D cen­ter and bat­tery test fa­cil­ity.” BYD’s Europe man­ag­ing di­rec­tor

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