BYD selects Hungary for first EV production facility in Europe

As Chinese EV automaker Build Your Dreams (BYD) closes in on current global sales leader Tesla, a massive factor in its strategy includes expansions in the EU. Less than two months after BYD shared plans to expand passenger EV production to Europe, we now know that journey will begin in Hungary.

It’s been a mere three years since Chinese EV automaker BYD entered the European market, beginning in Norway. Since then, we’ve watched the company expand the reach of its brand en route to becoming not only a household name but quite possibly the global BEV sales leader for 2023, usurping longtime champ Tesla.

In the past year alone, we’ve seen BYD roll out or at least announce new EV models to compete with Tesla around the globe, especially in Europe, although production has remained in China up to this point.

Despite a probe from the EU into importing Chinese EVs, BYD has stood tall and adamant about its goals to expand in Europe and become one of the industry leaders in its segment. Rather than continue to import vehicles and face criticism from local governments, BYD began seeking production suitors in Europe last year and announced official plans to establish its footprint this past November as it continues to expand overseas.

Today, we’ve learned those first Europe-built EVs will come from Hungary.

The Atto-3 SUV / Source: BYD Europe

BYD’s EV production in Europe will begin in Hungary

According to Automotive News Europe, BYD’s first factory in Europe will be erected in the city of Szeged in southern Hungary, creating thousands of new jobs in the area. The new plant in Europe is expected to produce 200,000 cars annually as part of a phased ramp-up.

Europe’s incoming production facility is expected to produce BEVs and plug-in hybrids for the BYD brand, enabled by subsidies from the Hungarian government. However, it said it will share the scope of those investments once the European Commission approves the deal.

That being said, Hungary’s Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto hinted that the investment is set to be one of the largest in the country’s economic history. When complete, BYD’s new passenger EV plant joins an existing facility in northwest Hungary that currently builds buses.

The Hungarian government and BYD have yet to share a timeline for the opening of the EV production facility in Europe. The Chinese automaker is targeting a 10% market share in Europe by 2030 and has sold 13,000 vehicles on the continent to date through November 2023.

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