Chinese company BYD opened its first European production plant in the Komárom Industrial Park on Tuesday. The factory will manufacture four hundred electric buses-a-year.
In his speech at the official opening ceremony, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó highlighted the fact that BYD is the world’s most significant producer of electric buses and will be employing 300 people at its plant in Komárom. The Government contributed 925 million forints in non-returnable funding towards the 6.2 billion forint (EUR 20M) investment.
Chinese Ambassador Tuan Chie-lung said that the quality of Chinese-Hungarian relations is indicated by the fact that Hungary has the most Chinese investments in the region. Chinese enterprises have so far invested 4.1 billion dollars in Hungary and created 7400 new jobs.
Managing Director of BYD Europe Isbrand Ho spoke about the fact that the buses produced in the factory will be used in Europe’s big cities. In addition to buses and coaches, the Komárom plant will later also manufacture forklift trucks and light commercial vehicles. Mr. Szijjártó told reporters that Hungary had become one of the bastions of the European automotive industry, and the sector generated a production value of 7874 billion forints (EUR 25.5bn) last year. 92.4 percent of production is exported and the sector employs almost 155 thousand people.
Mr. Szijjártó added that the Hungarian Government has taken the necessary steps to make the country an ideal destination for research and development. Among these measures the Minister listed the lowest level of corporation tax in Europe, the reduction of social contributions, the tax benefits available for companies involved in R&D, and a funding system that is dependent on the level of technological development introduced.
According to the press materials provided during the official opening of the plant, the 66 thousand square metre factory in Komárom is just the first of many production units that BYD is planning to establish in Europe. Less than two weeks ago the company announced the acquisition of an 80 thousand square metre site for another bus manufacturing plant in Beauvais, just north of Paris.
BYD Company Ltd. is a market leading, state-of-the-art multinational company with headquarters in Shenzhen, China. Since its establishment in 1995, the company has accumulated significant knowledge with relation to the manufacturing of rechargeable batteries. It is present in over 50 countries and regions with its renewable energy-based solutions.
The world’s largest fleet of zero emission buses at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam operates using BYD’s electric buses, as does the world’s largest fleet of urban electric buses on the streets of London. BYD’s shares are listed on the Hong Kong and Shenzhen stock exchanges, and the company employs a total of over 220 thousand people.
(Cabinet Office of the Prime Minister/MTI)