BYD to build key bus plant in Hungary
Factory will be first to be built by a Chinese carmaker in Europe
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