BYD Company Limited, one of China’s fastest growing auto manufacturers, will establish the US headquarters of three separate operating divisions in the City of Los Angeles.
Company officials estimate its new offices would create 50 jobs initially with plans to increase its assembly work force to 2,000 employees over the next three years. BYD expects to invest more than $100 million in construction, which has the potential to create approximately 1,600 construction-related jobs. The automotive industry has a rich multiplier effect, so such a development could result in numerous additional jobs being created in the County.
BYD sold nearly 450,000 vehicles in 2009, up 170% from a year earlier. This year, the company expects to reach 700,000 in vehicle sales. In addition to its conventional vehicles, BYD introduced the F3DM dual-mode electric vehicle in 2008, and will soon officially launch the e6 electric vehicle.
In addition to being North America’s largest consumer market for electric vehicles, Southern California was seen as a strategic outpost for BYD because of its proximity to major infrastructure including Los Angeles International Airport, the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and several railways, and is home to major operations of other car companies such as Honda, Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, Suzuki, and Mitsubishi.
BYD plans to take advantage of LA’s various incentives and programs aimed at attracting and retaining cleantech companies such as the Port of Los Angeles’ proposed “ZERO Emission Vehicle Tariff Measure” that would reduce the wharfage rate for Battery Electric Vehicles by 15%. The “ZERO emission” tariff measure will be the first of its kind in the port industry.