plans to build a new factory to produce EVs and batteries in Szeged, southern Hungary, according to the Financial Times.

(Image credit: CnEVPost)

BYD (OTCMKTS: BYDDF) is in final talks with the Hungarian government to secure a multi-billion-euro investment in a new electric vehicle (EV) factory, a deal that could be announced as early as Friday, the Financial Times said in an overnight report.

BYD plans to produce EVs and batteries at the new plant in Szeged, southern Hungary, the report said, citing three people familiar with the matter.

BYD already has a bus factory in Hungary, but the company wants to build a full-fledged car plant to fulfill its ambition to dominate Europe's EV industry by the end of this decade, the report said.

The BYD plant would be the first large-scale car factory in Europe by a new Chinese brand, the report noted, adding that while companies including (NYSE: NIO) and Great Wall Motors are targeting the region and are expected to build factories in time, none has yet laid out plans to localize manufacturing.

BYD's all-electric bus plant in Hungary is the company's first in Europe. In June 2021, it delivered its first all-electric bus to Hungary's largest public transport operator, Volánbusz.

Peter Szijjarto, Hungary's Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, visited Shenzhen, where BYD is headquartered, at the end of June, and announced at that time that BYD would set up a battery assembly plant in the small northern Hungarian town of Fót, with an investment of 10 billion forints ($29.8 million), according to a report by local media outlet Cailian in July.

BYD will further expand its presence in Hungary by setting up the factory in Fót. The new plant will not produce batteries, but only assemble them, Szijjarto said at the time.

BYD began recruiting in Hungary in July for positions including a director of government affairs as well as an equipment engineer, the latter of which requires a candidate who can take care of equipment maintenance for production lines.

BYD wants to become Europe's biggest seller of EVs if possible and wants to account for one-tenth of the region's EV sales by 2030, BYD's European chief executive, Michael Shu, said earlier this year, according to the report in the Financial Times overnight.

Hungary has attracted a number of new car or battery factories, in part because it is a member of China's "Belt and Road" initiative, the report noted.

BYD is China's largest new energy vehicle (NEV) maker, selling 301,903 NEVs in November, including 30,629 overseas.

In March, BYD began construction of a passenger car plant in Thailand. In May, it broke ground on a plant in Uzbekistan. In July, the company said it would set up a large manufacturing base complex of three factories in Brazil.

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