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article imageBuffett-backed BYD to open electric-truck plant in Canada

By Karen Graham     Nov 20, 2017 in Business
Ontario - BYD Co, the Chinese electric-vehicle maker backed by billionaire Warren Buffett, plans to open its first assembly plant in Ontario, Canada next year.
BYD, often described as China's Tesla, anticipates a surge in electric trucks for municipalities and businesses. The company's electric car division is primarily based in China, however, BYD has a strong presence in California.
BYD Canada spokesperson Ted Dowling said in a phone interview with Bloomberg that BYD is anticipating a surge in demand in Canada, and this is why they are investing in their own plant in Canada. He also added, "There is less of a barrier to entry when it comes to having Chinese products in Canada compared to the U.S.,”
“BYD is a global company, but we like to localize,” Dowling continued. “It doesn’t make sense to build everything in China and then ship it. It makes more sense to utilize the incentive programs and policy changes and create jobs in different markets.”
BYD's move comes as countries shift to electric vehicles to combat climate change. The company will start its operations in Ontario by shipping technology and components from China to make short-range vehicles such as garbage and delivery trucks.
BYD US Headquarters in Los Angeles  Caligornia in 2015.
BYD US Headquarters in Los Angeles, Caligornia in 2015.
Initially, about 40 employees will be hired. However, Dowling pointed out that with the California plant, 100 employees were first hired, and the plant now employs 700 people.
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Citing Canada's last truck manufacturing plant closing in 2011 due to losing automotive investments to the U.S. and Mexico, Dowling said, "If successful, BYD could be at the forefront of rebuilding a dormant truck-manufacturing industry, We’re bringing back an industry and we’re doing it through electrification,” Dowling stated. “It’s a totally different game.”
A spokesman for Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Growth declined to comment on any investment from BYD.
BYD Co Ltd is a Chinese manufacturer of automobiles, buses, forklifts, rechargeable batteries, trucks, etc with its corporate headquarters in Shenzhen. It has two major subsidiaries, BYD Automobile and BYD Electronic.
More about BYD, electric truck, Ontario, better environment, tax incentives
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