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Chinese EV maker BYD to establish $1 billion plant in Turkey

BNE News Desk , July 9, 2024
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Beijing: China’s leading electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, BYD, has announced a $1 billion investment to establish a manufacturing plant in Turkey. 

The facility, set to produce up to 150,000 vehicles annually, is expected to generate approximately 5,000 jobs and commence production by the end of 2026, as reported by the Turkish state news agency Anadolu.

The agreement was formalized at an event in Istanbul attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and BYD's CEO Wang Chuanfu. While BYD has not yet provided further details on the deal, this move signifies a strategic expansion outside of China amid growing pressures in the European and US markets.

Recently, the European Union increased tariffs on Chinese EVs to protect its automotive industry, imposing an additional 17.4 percent tariff on BYD’s vehicles imported from China, on top of an existing 10 percent  import duty. As Turkey is part of the EU’s Customs Union, vehicles manufactured in Turkey and exported to the EU can circumvent these extra tariffs.

Moreover, the Turkish government has implemented a 40 percent tariff on imported Chinese vehicles to bolster domestic car manufacturers. Similarly, the US has increased tariffs on Chinese-made EVs, solar panels, steel, and other goods, citing unfair trade practices and aiming to protect American jobs. This includes a 100 percent border tax on Chinese electric cars.

BYD, supported by US investor Warren Buffett, is the world’s second-largest EV producer, following Tesla. The company has been actively expanding its manufacturing footprint globally. In late 2023, BYD announced plans to build its first European passenger car factory in Hungary, expected to create thousands of jobs.

Additionally, BYD recently inaugurated an EV plant in Thailand, marking its first manufacturing facility in Southeast Asia. This plant will also have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles and is projected to create 10,000 jobs. Furthermore, BYD has revealed plans to establish a manufacturing plant in Mexico, continuing its aggressive international expansion strategy.