Today’s announcement aligns well with earlier news in which BYD had envisioned a factory in Europe but waited to announce the location. Reports in November had listed Hungary as the most likely country.
Today, Hungarian Foreign Minister Szijjarto said in Budapest that this was one of the largest investments in Hungarian history. He did not give a specific investment amount, nor did the company.
BYD is already active in vehicle construction in Hungary. The Group is building electric buses for the European market in Komárom. According to earlier reports, BYD increased its production capacity fivefold, from 200 to 1,000 e-buses. The car manufacturer is also planning a battery assembly plant in the country.
The company also sells electric cars in Hungary and 18 other European countries. In today’s news, BYD added that it will launch three new electric models in Europe within twelve months. BYD currently offers five BEVs on the continent: the Han, Tang, Atto 3, Seal and Dolphin.
BYD expects the Hungarian electric car factory to create thousands of jobs and support local supply chains. At the same time, production will be highly automated. BYD adds that it will utilise its expertise in integrated vertical supply chains to help create a green ‘ecosystem’ locally.
Hungary is situated in the heart of Europe and is an essential transportation hub with well-developed infrastructure. Several premium European manufacturers like BMW or Audi already build cars in the country, further supporting BYD’s decision to make Hungary the centre of European production.
BYD manager Stella Li announced in December 2022 that the Chinese manufacturer was planning at least one car plant on the European continent, possibly two. Shortly afterwards, BYD stated that the UK was not an option because of Brexit and that it would determine the final location in 2023.
Later in the year, a French minister confirmed talks with BYD. The Chinese manufacturer knows the country well, as it built electric buses there but ceased production in November 2021 due to low demand. At the time, BYD stated that it wanted to remain active in the French market despite the closure.
In addition, there were reports that Spain and Germany were shortlisted.
Now, Hungary has made it. The country is also part of China’s ‘Belt and Road’ initiative. BYD will likely also build batteries there.
Driven by its global brand vision to ‘Cool the Earth by 1°C’, BYD says it wants to accelerate the pace of new energy passenger vehicle penetration in Europe and actively promote the green transformation of the global energy structure.