China’s BYD to start electric bus manufacturing in Hungary

“Chinese automobile manufacturer BYD is establishing Europe’s first electric bus factory in Komárom with an investment of 6.2 billion forints, towards which the Government is providing a grant of 925 million forints”, the Minster of Foreign Affairs and Trade announced at a press conference. Péter Szijjártó added: production is expected to already begin early next year, the plant will initially produce 200 buses a year and the world actor on the electric bus market will create 300 new jobs in two phases thanks to the investment project.

According to the Minister, the production of electric buses will both improve competitiveness and contribute to enabling Hungary to achieve its global climate policy goals.

According to Mr. Szijjártó, the question of who will be competitive in the new industrial era based on digitalisation, automated transport development and electro-mobility, is being decided now. “Hungary was successful in the previous, fundamentally manufacturing industrial era, and is in first place within the region with respect to the ratio of foreign working capital investment to economic performance”, he pointed out.“In the new industrial era there is not only competition for Western capital, but also for capital from the East. More and more companies from the Far East are searching for new European locations to place their production capacities”, he added.

In Mr. Szijjártó’s assessment, Chinese-Hungarian economic cooperation is developing extremely well and Chinese investment in Hungary now exceeds 3.5 billion U.S. Dollars. “Bilateral trade gained further momentum this year; Hungarian exports to China increased by 20 percent during the first seven months of the year, with the automotive industry being the major contributing sector in addition to the food industry”, he told the press.

The People’s Republic of China’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Hungary Mr. Duan Jielong spoke about the fact that “time had almost run out” for diesel-powered vehicles and accordingly BYD will be establishing a production unit to manufacture environmentally friendly vehicles using modern technology in Komárom, based on the excellence of the Hungarian workforce.

According to the Chinese Ambassador, the project is also an indication of Hungary’s commitment to economic relations with China.Managing Director of BVD Auto Europe Isbrand Ho stressed that when deciding on the site for the company’s first European assembly centre, important factors included the central location of Hungary and Komárom, engineering knowledge and experience relating to bus production and the Government’s measures aimed at facilitating economic growth.“Hungary was once one of the great centres of bus production and through this investment we would like to help Hungary become one of the frontrunners in electric powered bus manufacturing”, he said.

The new plant will also include a paint shop that applies state-of-the-art technology, a research centre and a testing centre, he told reporters.Mr. Ho also said that BYD is also planning to enter the European market with further zero emission vehicles. Major of Komárom Attila Molnár highlighted the fact that BYD could also win an award for the “most loyal company” in view of the fact that it maintained its presence in Hungary as a supplier even after the closure of the Nokia plant.

This project is a milestone in the life of the city”, he declared, adding that job creation is of key importance to the city and the new plant would also mean an increase in local tax revenues, which will provide the municipality with further development opportunities.