BYD, the fast growing Chinese supplier of pure electric buses to cities across Europe, confirmed its commitment to the market with the announcement of a plant to be built in the northern Hungarian city of Komárom. The plans require an investment of €20 million in a bus assembly plant which will eventually employ up to 300 people and to be capable of assembling up to 400 vehicles a year on two shifts. Initial output will be BYD’s 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, 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”.
BYD chose Hungary both because of itscentral location in Europe and its long tradition of engineering excellence and indeed bus making. In a former era factories in Hungary built thousands of buses every year for the countries of the former eastern bloc.