BYD to invest in new French assembly plant

BYD is to invest €10million in an electric bus assembly plant near Beauvais, in Hauts-de-France. The project should create 100 jobs initially and the production facility will occupy 32,000 sq m of a site totalling nearly 80,000 sq m. It will assemble up to 200 single-deck buses and coaches in its first phase and other vehicles may be added later, according to BYD.

Production is scheduled to get underway in the first half of 2018. In addition to bus assembly, BYD plans an after-sales unit for maintenance and repairs, as well as a logistics center for spare parts. In the longer term, a test centre for batteries could be added.

“We chose France because it has Europe’s largest bus market,” says Isbrand Ho, managing director, BYD Europe. “And we selected Beauvais and the Hauts-de-France region because of the quality of the building proposed to us, the region’s ideal location, and the proactive approach of local and regional authorities.

“We want to contribute to cleaner air in large cities. Diesel-powered urban buses are not only one of the leading sources of air pollution, they are also one of the vehicle categories that is easiest to electrify, since they travel along clearly identified routes. We anticipate a significant rise in sales of electric buses in Europe, and particularly in France, Europe’s largest national market.”

Xavier Bertrand, president of the Hauts-de-France region, welcomed the new facility: “BYD’s decision to set up in Hauts-de-France is great news for employment - our region’s top priority. A plant like this shows that we can attract major international corporations when we invest the resources to do so. Last but not least, production of electric buses fits in perfectly with our Third Industrial Revolution strategy, which aims to make Hauts-de-France a leader in energy transition.”

Caroline Cayeux, senator and mayor of Beauvais and president of the Beauvais conurbation, says: “BYD’s choice confirms the Beauvais region’s appeal for business, and underscores our capacity to host cutting-edge industries. The company found the buildings it needed here, and along with skilled human resources from our labour pool. We set out what we’ve got to offer, and our assets met BYD Group’s requirements in full. The result is the win-win partnership that we are launching officially today, and I’m delighted both for our region and for the people who live here.”