UNITED KINGDOM: The effects of Brexit will prevent the world’s biggest seller of electric and hybrid vehicles from considering establishing its first European auto factory in the UK.
By the end of the decade, China’s BYD, which has been supported by US investment billionaire Warren Buffett since 2008, hopes to challenge household names like Tesla and rank among the top three electric car brands in Europe.
The top-selling electric vehicle manufacturer in China has chosen sites in Germany, France, Spain, Poland, and Hungary as it aims to sell 800,000 vehicles a year in Europe by 2030.
Michael Shu, BYD’s European president, said, “To open a factory is a decision for decades. Without Brexit, maybe. But after Brexit, we don’t understand what happened.”
Build Your Dreams, or BYD claimed that the UK had not even made a top-10 list of potential sites for its first European auto plant. Buses are already being produced by businesses in Europe.
The Shenzhen-based, Hong Kong-listed BYD, which started developing batteries in 1995, aspires to dominate the global electric vehicle industry.
It’s not the first time a company has turned down new business opportunities in the UK because of worries about Brexit.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, claimed in 2019 that the UK’s choice to leave the EU made the construction of a gigafactory there too risky.
Due to the tough global economy, other automakers are also having to look at what they need for their businesses. In February, Ford revealed 4,000 job cuts across Europe, including 1,300 in the UK.
Ford has pledged to invest $50 billion (£41 billion) in the production of electric cars by 2026, but it must also determine what to do with businesses centered on internal combustion engines before the sale of new gasoline and diesel vehicles is outlawed. BMW announced last month that half of its European deliveries would be electric by 2030, and Jaguar has committed to going completely electric by 2025.
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