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Chinese vehicle maker BYD plans plant in Szeged

| 2023-12-24 2 min read

Chinese vehicle maker BYD plans plant in Szeged

Reading Time: 2 minutes

After months of speculation, Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto announced that China’s BYD will build its first electric vehicle (EV) factory in Europe in Szeged, south Hungary.

The investment value will reach EUR 5bn, significantly more than the EUR 3bn intended for the construction of China’s CATL’s battery factory in Debrecen, east Hungary, Hungarian daily Nepszava wrote. Szijjarto did not mention a specific sum in connection with the investment.

The plant will produce electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles for the European market and create thousands of jobs, BYD said in a statement. Nepszava earlier reported that nearly 3,000 workers will be employed when production ramps up in the car factory, which will be built on a 300-hectare site around Szeged-Beketelep. 

The current announcement is not only important for Hungary and BYD, but could be decisive for the entire European automotive industry, Hungarian business website Portfolio reported.

Filipinos to be recruited to work at plant

Szijjarto, Szeged Mayor Laszlo Botka, and BYD approved the plan in 224 rounds of negotiations, Nepszava wrote. Initially workers will be recruited from Szeged and its surroundings, in the second round from Bekes county, where unemployment is higher, and in the third round, workers will come from the Philippines.

Botka said “Szeged’s geographical location and logistics development” had a decisive influence on BYD’s choice of Szeged, noting that the M5 and M43 motorways cross next to the industrial area,  which at the end of the summer received a government subsidy of HUF 21bn. The main railway line connecting Szeged with Budapest is also under construction near the factory, which could later be connected to the Belgrade-Budapest railway line. 

Szeged’s Socialist mayor added that the city is a centre of higher education, science and training, providing a suitable background for BYD’s investment here. 

Tesla has been the benchmark for electric cars in recent year, Portfolio added. BYD’s being referred to as the “Tesla killer” or the “Chinese Tesla” is no coincidence. According to the latest data published by manufacturers, Tesla once again sold the most pure electric cars globally in the third quarter, 435,059 units. However, partly due to certain improvements made in its factories, growth in production and sales year-on-year was “only” 27%.