China’s BYD Eyes Hungary for Its First European Car Factory: Report

Chinese hybrid electric vehicle leader, BYD, is reportedly considering Hungary as the location for its inaugural European car manufacturing facility, according to the German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung.

The report, which cites anonymous sources close to BYD, comes after an article on a Shenzhen government website mentioned a meeting between Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban and BYD’s Chairman and President, Wang Chuanfu, according to Automotive News Europe.

When approached for a comment, BYD stated that they are still in the process of finalizing the ideal location and will make a formal announcement by year’s end. The Hungarian government has yet to comment on the matter.

Earlier this year, BYD Executive Vice President, Stella Li, expressed the company’s ambitions to establish a car production base in Europe and mentioned ongoing feasibility studies. BYD already has a presence in European markets, including Germany, France, the U.K., Spain, and Scandinavian countries. Notably, the company inaugurated an electric bus factory in Hungary in 2016.

BYD shares are owned by investment guru Warren Buffett’s and his company Berkshire Hathaway, although last week the latter sold nearly $26 million worth of shares.

Hungary is no stranger to hosting international car manufacturers. Brands like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Suzuki have established plants in the country. Additionally, BMW is set to commence production of its Neue Klasse electric cars in a new Hungarian facility by 2025.

In China, BYD’s line of hybrid electric vehicles are top sellers in the country. But Tesla’s Model Y recently led pure battery-EV sales in China in September.