Chinese Tesla competitor BYD signs $1 billion deal for Turkey plant

China’s leading electric vehicle manufacturer, BYD, has agreed to a $1 billion deal to establish a manufacturing plant in Turkey, marking its continued expansion beyond China. According to Turkish state news agency Anadolu, the new facility is poised to produce up to 150,000 vehicles annually and is expected to create around 5,000 jobs, with production scheduled to commence by the end of 2026.

The agreement was formalized at an event in Istanbul attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and BYD’s CEO Wang Chuanfu. Further details on the deal were not immediately available as BYD did not respond to a request from the BBC.

This move comes amid growing challenges for Chinese EV manufacturers in both the European Union and the United States. Recently, the EU implemented higher tariffs on Chinese EVs, impacting BYD with an additional tariff of 17.4% on vehicles imported from China. Turkey, being part of the EU’s Customs Union, stands to benefit from avoiding these additional tariffs on vehicles manufactured within its borders and exported to the EU.

In response to protectionist measures, Turkey has also imposed a 40% additional tariff on Chinese vehicle imports. Meanwhile, in the US, President Joe Biden has increased tariffs on various Chinese goods, including electric cars, citing unfair trade practices.

BYD, backed by prominent US investor Warren Buffett, ranks as the world’s second-largest EV company after Tesla. The company has been rapidly expanding its production capabilities beyond China, with plans underway for manufacturing plants in Hungary and Mexico, and recently inaugurating its first Southeast Asian factory in Thailand.

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