China’s BYD Auto is expected to announce plans to build a new electric and hybrid vehicle plant in Hungary in coming weeks, according to local reports citing a company official.
The automaker already has a plant in Komarom, Hungary, producing battery powered buses mainly for Europe.
Reports in China suggested BYD chairman and president Wang Chuanfu met with Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban during a recent visit to the country.
The company was said to have already chosen Hungary over Germany for the location of its light passenger vehicle plant where it would benefit from much lower wage costs and other expenses while securing access to the EU.
Earlier this year, the European Commission announced it was investigating whether Chinese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturers were benefiting from Chinese state subsidies to gain an unfair advantage in the EU.
A BYD official suggested an announcement would be made by the end of the year, once the site for the new plant had been decided. The company, also a major global manufacturer of EV batteries, is also expected to build a battery pack assembly plant in Hungary.
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China’s Contemporary Amperex Technology Company Limited (CATL), the world’s largest EV battery manufacturer is also building a plant in Hungary with ultimate capacity for up to 100 gigawatt hours (GWh) of battery cells per year.
BYD is on target to sell 3m electric and hybrid vehicles worldwide this year with overseas sales of at least 220,000 units, a large proportion sold in Europe.