BYD 20 YEARS IN EUROPE
Twenty years ago BYD, Build Your Dreams, set food on European shores with an office in Rotterdam in the Netherlands. It started with selling batteries, its core business, but now in 2019 BYD says it is market leader in electric buses in Europe with over 650 ebuses sold. Worldwide it delivered recent its 50.000th electric bus.
BYD is growing strongly the past years. In 1998 only a handful of BYD-people were active for the company. Some years later the office moved to the neighbouring city Schiedam where offices were combined with a large storage facility and workshop. Also to create more space because now BYD has 90 employees and at the end of this year there will be 130 people working at BYD in Schiedam, Managing Director Isbrand Ho: “We are committed to the Rotterdam region, to the Netherlands and to Europe. BYD Europe is not only celebrating 20 years, but more importantly in this city. We feel welcome here.”
This jubilee was attented by distinguished guests like the Mayor of Schiedam, Cor Lamers and Guosheng Zhang, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. He said to be proud to witness that BYD have grown into an important contributor to the Dutch economy and a valuable member of Dutch society, but also a driving force for China’s economy.” Mr. Cor Lamers, Mayor of Schiedam: “BYD is one of the top 5 Chinese investors in the Netherlands. The establishment of the company here supports the positioning of the Rotterdam region as an attractive area for innovative sustainability companies. This fits the Schiedam profile well.”
Two years ago BYD moved its bus production for Europe from China to two plants in Europe: Hungary and France. The Komarom, Hungary-based factory has since then delivered ebuses to Dutch clients Connexxion and Syntus, and to the Swedish operator Nobina and is producing the specialized airport ebuses for Brussels Airport Company and chassis for customers in the UK. The co-operation between BYD and Alexander Dennis, Britain’s largest coach and bus builder, has led to 60% market share in the UK market. The plant in Beauvais, France, serves mainly as an assembly plant for the French market and has since its opening in November last year delivered ebuses to three cities in France.
Besides buses BYD produces forklifts. This division registered a 40% increase in forklift orders last year and delivered its 1,500th forklift. The aim is to double this figure in 2019. Last year BYD Europe established a new market: a market for electric on-highway trucks and commercial vehicles. Two prototype electric trucks, a yard tractor designed for airport, port and distribution centres and a 7.5 tonne electric truck were already brought to Europe in 2018 and have been successfully tested. A sales team is being set up and a dealer network is being built. The launch is planned later this year.
A toast to the twentieth anniversary of BYD Europe. From left to right: Cor Lamers, Mayor of Schiedam, Barbara Kathmann, Vice Mayor for the Municipality of Rotterdam, Isbrand Ho, Managing Director BYD Europe and Guosheng Zhang, Economic and Commercial Counsellor of the Chinese Embassy in the Netherlands.