A building of BYD electric bus factory is seen in the northern Hungarian city of Komarom, on April 4, 2017. (Xinhua/Attila Volgyi)
Chinese vehicle manufacturer BYD opened its first European electric bus factory in the northern Hungarian city of Komarom on Tuesday.
BYD is expected to invest a total of 20 million euros (21.3 million U.S. dollars) in the project to 2018.
Currently, there are 32 employees, but the company plans to employ around 300 people to assemble up to 400 electric buses a year on two shifts, which will be exported to customers across continental Europe.
After producing electric buses and coaches, the company will begin making electric forklift trucks and light commercial vehicles.
“They(BYD)have chosen Komarom and Hungary amongst many competitors from not only Europe, but also many parts of the world,” Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said here at the opening ceremony.
Szijjarto underlined that the Hungarian government made every measure possible to turn the country into a target for not only production companies, but also those that want to make Hungary the location of their research and development center.
Hungary has the lowest corporate tax in the European Union (EU), Szijjarto said.
Chinese Ambassador to Hungary Duan Jielong hoped that the BYD investment project could achieve mutual benefits and common development, and promote bilateral cooperation.
China's investment in Hungary has reached 4.1 billion U.S. dollars in chemistry, financing, communications, logistics and automotive industry, Duan added.
Isbrand Ho, managing director at BYD Europe, said that his firm had chosen Hungary and Komarom because of its central location and its long tradition of engineering excellence.
“We are very conscious of the country's strong heritage of bus making in this immediate region,” he said.