Chinese battery and automaker BYD will set up its European headquarters in Germany, saying that the decision now depends on “finding the right property and place” and will likely be made before the end of the year, according to Henry Li, GM of BYD’s export division.
Backed by billionaire investor Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, the Shenzhen based company wants to be the first Chinese company to sell electric and hybrid cars in Western Europe, and is aiming for cities that subsidise eco cars. The push will start next year with models such as the E6 electric car, a Honda Odyssey sized five seater that uses two electric motors for a 330 km range before it needs to recharge.
Other cars in the pipeline include the F3DM plug-in hybrid sedan, which looks like a Corolla Altis from the front and a Honda City from the rear. BYD could eventually design and build cars in Europe, the company revealed.
Back home, BYD has a partnership with Daimler to produce electric vehicles. It has invested $88 million in the 50:50 partnership that will create a new brand of EVs for Chinese market, now the world’s largest.