(Yicai Global) Oct. 9 -- Chinese auto maker BYD Co. [SHE: 002594] held the completion ceremony for its factory expansion project in Lancaster, California, US on Oct. 6.
The newly-built electric bus factory, which covers around 41,000 square meters, is the first in the US solely invested by Chinese capital and the largest electric bus factory in North America, state-run Xinhua News Agency reported.
The grand opening celebration commemorated the addition of a new wing to the current BYD Coach and Bus space, bringing the total manufacturing facility to nearly 450,000 sq. ft. This expansion nearly quadruples BYD's facility from its initial 2013 footprint.
Compared with the original factory in Lancaster built in 2013, the new factory covers the area of six standard football fields -- roughly four times the size of the original and can produce 1,500 electric buses each year, BYD said.
US House of Representatives Majority Leader Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.), in whose district the plant lies, said during the ceremony that he thinks that an active cooperative partnership is discernible in Chinese enterprises' investments in the US. "I think it's a great partnership making the investment in America. The stronger China and America can become, the stronger the world will be," McCarthy told Xinhua.
Almost 800 locals are currently employed in BYD's bus factory. The new factory, totally powered by new energy, is projected to provide over 1,500 jobs for locals. BYD has invested around USD230 million in US electric buses since 2013, making up over 80 percent of the overall market.