Scroll to Top

Tesla faces rival as China’s Warren Buffett-backed BYD plans US expansion

By dailymail / Published on Tuesday, 18 Jul 2017 07:39 AM / No Comments


When President Donald Trump pushed “Made in America” week starting on Monday, Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD might not have been top of mind.

But the Warren Buffett-backed company has its sights set on expanding in the U.S. market with its Lancaster, California, production facility set for completion next month, Stella Li, president of BYD Motors, told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Tuesday.

The facility, which employs around 700 people, will be able to annually produce 1,500 electric heavy-duty vehicles, such as municipal buses.

Li said BYD was also expanding into new product lines, such as electric refuse trucks and forklifts.

All in, BYD has already given better-known rival Tesla a run for its money: Tesla sold around 76,000 vehicles in 2016, while BYD clocked in more than 100,000 units in sales.

Li said that BYD’s U.S. customer base wasn’t just confined to green-focused California — the city of Denver is among its biggest customers.

“Our customer [base] is expanding into multiple [arenas] from public transit bus to the private one,” she said, noting her company had orders from Facebook, Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco.