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Chinese electric bus maker to build plant in Hungary

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

China's BYD, the world's biggest manufacturer of electric buses, has begun construction of its Hungarian assembly plant in Komárom, according to unconfirmed sources. The investment could be very lucrative to the company, but Hungary could also profit from it.

According to reports, BYD has now decided to go ahead with the investment it had been planning for a long time and build an electric bus factory in Komárom, north Hungary. Recruitment is reportedly underway, and construction work has now started in the Komárom Industrial Park, where production is scheduled to begin in October.

BYD, founded by Wang Chuanfu in 1995, has grown to become a global player employing nearly 180,000 people. The group is primarily active in IT hardware, producing rechargeable batteries, computers and computer parts. BYD also makes cars, both traditional and electric, and electric bicycles, and has substantial investments in renewable energy and LED technology.

BYD's first electric bus rolled off the assembly line on September 30, 2010, and has since been followed by more than 10,000 similar buses, which now carry passengers in several countries. The company has four bus manufacturing plants, with total annual output capacity of 7,000 units. It offers a range of vehicles in many sizes and for various uses, including the 12-meter K9 model that won a tender in Budapest last year. (The Budapest transport authority eventually withdrew the order.)

BYD has had manufacturing capabilities in Hungary since 2008, when it bought South Korean Mirae's plastic painting plant in Komárom. The plan was to increase production, but as a result of the 2008 global crisis and the dire straits of Nokia, for which the plant was supplying cellphone batteries and other parts, BYD eventually had to close the plant. However, the 18,000 sqm production hall was not left unused.

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