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The plant which will eventually employ up to 300 people and be capable of assembling up to 400 vehicles a year on two shifts. Initial output will be BYD's world beating range of emissions free electric buses and fork lift trucks but the Hungarian subsidiary's name - BYD Electric Bus & Truck Hungary Kft – hints at other ambitions.
The Hungarian plant will begin production in the first quarter of 2017. It will have its own R&D Centre and battery test facility.
Speaking at a ceremony at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest today, Isbrand Ho, BYD Europe's Managing Director, said: "Today's announcement reinforces our company's commitment to the European market. This is our first manufacturing facility but it won't be our last – we are actively looking for other locations”.
He added: "We chose Hungary both because of its central location in Europe and its long tradition of engineering excellence and indeed bus making* as well as the very friendly welcome we have received from the authorities here”.
Speaking at the press conference the Mayor of Komárom Mr. Attila Molnar thanked BYD for their decision to choose his city for the location of BYD's first pure electric bus production facility in Europe. He mentioned that creating jobs is the priority.
Mr. Duan Jielong, the Chinese Ambassador in Hungary said: "BYD, as a Chinese enterprise integrating R&D technology, automobile and new energy, is a pioneer in the aspect of new energy vehicles and has been devoted to realizing zero emission urban public transportation. It's no surprise that the sales of the BYD electric bus is growing fast in European countries such as the UK, France and the Netherlands as the diesel era comes to an end."
Mr. Peter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Hungary also welcomed BYD and pointed out Komárom is the only manufacturing plant outside China besides California and Brazil. He highlighted the fact that BYD was not just building a manufacturing plant but also opening a battery testing unit and R&D center.
*In a former era factories in Hungary built thousands of buses every year for the countries of the former eastern bloc.