(From L to R) BYD Europe's managing director, Isbrand Ho, China's ambassador to Hungary Duan Jielong, Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto and Mayor of Komarom, Attila Molnar attend a press conference in Budapest, Hungary, on Oct. 10, 2016. (Photo: Xinhua/Marton Kovacs)
Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer BYD is building a bus factory in Hungary, in the northern town of Komarom, which is to be the first of its kind on the European continent, the company and Hungarian officials announced on Monday.
The project is slated to cost 20 million euros (about 22.4 million U.S. dollars), which the Hungarian government is to support with 925 million forints (about 3.4 million dollars).
Hungarian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto welcomed the project, pointing out that Hungary has long-standing traditions in bus manufacture, having built thousands for the East European market at one time.
The facility is expected to come online in the first quarter of 2017. It will start with 200 buses a year, Szijjarto said and, according to BYD, will eventually be able to manufacture 400 a year.
The project is expected to create 300 new jobs, Szijjarto added.
China's ambassador to Hungary Duan Jielong said that BYD, which integrates R&D technology and green energy in vehicle manufacture, is devoted to achieving zero emissions in public transport.
BYD Europe's managing director, Isbrand Ho, said the announcement reinforced his company's commitment to the European market.
Hungary was chosen, he said, because of its central location and long-standing tradition of engineering excellence and bus manufacture.
BYD is one of China's largest businesses. Initially specializing in rechargeable battery technology it has become a pioneer in high-efficiency automobiles and an industry leader in electric-powered public transportation.
Hungary expects the project to boost its competitiveness on international markets while contributing to its environmental policy.