Chinese Tesla rival BYD signs $1 billion deal for EV factory in Turkey

Image caption, BYD’s factory in Thailand is part of its expansion outside China

  • Author, Peter Hoskins
  • Role, Business reporter

China’s largest electric car maker BYD has signed a $1 billion (£780 million) deal to open a manufacturing base in Turkey, as the company continues to expand outside its home country.

According to the Turkish state news agency Anadolu, the new factory will be able to produce up to 150,000 vehicles per year.

The plant is expected to create approximately 5,000 jobs and start production in late 2026.

The agreement was signed at an event in Istanbul, also attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and BYD CEO Wang Chuanfu.

BYD did not immediately respond to a request from the BBC for more details about the deal.

The announcement comes as Chinese EV manufacturers face increasing pressure in the European Union and the US.

The decision meant BYD had to impose an additional 17.4% tariff on vehicles it ships from China to the EU, on top of the 10% import duty.

Turkey is part of the EU customs union, meaning vehicles produced in the country and exported to the bloc can avoid the extra tariffs.

The Turkish government has also taken steps to support the country’s automakers by imposing an additional 40% import duty on Chinese vehicles.

Image source, Directorate of Communications of the Republic of Turkey

Image caption, The agreement was signed at an event attended by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and BYD CEO Wang Chuanfu

The White House said the measures, which include a 100% border tax on electric cars from China, are a response to unfair policies and are intended to protect American jobs.

BYD, which is backed by veteran American investor Warren Buffett, is the world’s second-largest electric car company after Elon Musk’s Tesla.

The company is rapidly expanding its production facilities outside China.

Late last year, BYD announced that it would build a production facility in EU member state Hungary.

It will be the company’s first passenger car plant in Europe and is expected to create thousands of jobs.

BYD opened an EV factory in Thailand on Thursday – its first in Southeast Asia.

According to BYD, the factory will have an annual capacity of 150,000 vehicles and is expected to create 10,000 jobs.

The company has also indicated that it plans to build a manufacturing facility in Mexico.

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