BYD Co, the Chinese electric-vehicle maker backed by billionaire Warren
Buffett, plans to open its first assembly plant in Ontario, Canada next
BYD, often described as China's Tesla, anticipates a
surge in electric trucks for municipalities and businesses. The
company's electric car division is primarily based in China, however,
BYD has a strong presence in California.
BYD Canada spokesperson Ted Dowling said
in a phone interview with Bloomberg that BYD is anticipating a surge in
demand in Canada, and this is why they are investing in their own plant
in Canada. He also added, "There is less of a barrier to entry when it
comes to having Chinese products in Canada compared to the U.S.,”
“BYD is a global company, but we like to localize,” Dowling continued.
“It doesn’t make sense to build everything in China and then ship it. It
makes more sense to utilize the incentive programs and policy changes
and create jobs in different markets.”
BYD's move comes as countries shift to electric vehicles to combat climate change.
The company will start its operations in Ontario by shipping technology
and components from China to make short-range vehicles such as garbage
and delivery trucks.
Initially, about 40 employees will be hired. However, Dowling pointed
out that with the California plant, 100 employees were first hired, and
the plant now employs 700 people.
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Citing Canada's last truck manufacturing plant
closing in 2011 due to losing automotive investments to the U.S. and
Mexico, Dowling said, "If successful, BYD could be at the forefront of
rebuilding a dormant truck-manufacturing industry, We’re bringing back
an industry and we’re doing it through electrification,” Dowling stated.
“It’s a totally different game.”
A spokesman for Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Growth declined to comment on any investment from BYD.
BYD Co Ltd is a Chinese manufacturer of automobiles, buses, forklifts,
rechargeable batteries, trucks, etc with its corporate headquarters in
Shenzhen. It has two major subsidiaries, BYD Automobile and BYD