BYD are now officially in the USA with yesterdays opening of their new LA Headquarters. The Shenzhen based company plans to open two dealerships in the US in the coming months that will focus on selling the companies range of products on what appears to be a B2B basis, the launch of the E6 seems to have been delayed until there are more charging points in the area, but perhaps BYD will launch the F3DM instead.
Los Angeles touted landing the North American headquarters of Chinese carmaker BYD Co. as a win that would generate jobs for the second-biggest U.S. city and make it a center for the growing market for electric autos.
BYD America opened today about a year behind schedule with fewer workers than first targeted. The company, partly owned by Warren Buffettâ€™s Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has delayed plans to sell electric cars to retail buyers, citing limited availability of public chargers. Instead, itâ€™s focusing on solar panels, batteries, LED lighting and rechargeable buses.
â€œThings like this are about planting seeds,â€ said Austin Beutner, the former Los Angeles deputy mayor who engineered the deal to bring BYD to the city, including more than $2 million in incentives. â€œSome grow fast, some grow slow, but youâ€™ve got to plant them.â€
Initial goals for the Shenzhen, China-based companyâ€™s California arrival havenâ€™t been met either in BYD jobs or indirect business created. The delays reflect a combination of construction obstacles and an electric-car market that hasnâ€™t developed as rapidly as first expected.
In April 2010 when the deal was announced, BYD said it would open the office by the end of 2010, and have 150 employees by the end of this year. It now has 20 employees in Los Angeles, with plans to reach 30 by year-end and 100 by the end of 2012, according to Micheal Austin, the companyâ€™s U.S. vice president.
BYD America will eventually grow to at least 150 people, Austin said.