BYD, the fast growing supplier of pure electric buses to cities across Europe, has announced a €20 million investment in a bus assembly plant in the northern Hungarian city of Komárom.
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 center and battery test facility.
Speaking at a ceremony at the Hungarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Budapest, 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”.
Mr. Peter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Hungary 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.
BYD and Berkshire Hathaway
In 2008, Berkshire Hathaway bet on BYD’s potential, purchasing 225 million shares. It’s an investment that has paid off handsomely. Berkshire’s original investment of $230 million is now worth roughly $1.77 billion.
For More on BYD, read the Special Report: BYD, Berkshire’s Tesla.
© 2016 David Mazor
Disclosure: David Mazor is a freelance writer focusing on Berkshire Hathaway. The author is long in Berkshire Hathaway, and this article is not a recommendation on whether to buy or sell the stock. The information contained in this article should not be construed as personalized or individualized investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results.