Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Chinese EV maker BYD says planned Mexico plant will create 10,000 jobs

BYD’s proposed operations in Mexico will create around 10,000 jobs, the Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer’s local chief told Bloomberg.

Jorge Vallejo, the general director of BYD México, told the news agency last week that the company is in final negotiations over the location of its planned EV plant in Mexico.

Jorge Vallejo, director of BYD México, speaks at a press event
Jorge Vallejo, the general director of BYD México, told Bloomberg that the planned BYD EV plant in Mexico would create 10,000 jobs. (BYD México)

He said that an official announcement on the facility is expected in the coming months.

Bloomberg reported that Vallejo didn’t say how many of the approximately 10,000 workers would be directly employed by the BYD plant in Mexico and how many would work for the automaker’s contractors and suppliers.

It noted that a plant with 10,000 workers would employ more people than the facilities of some automakers with an established presence in Mexico.

The country’s largest automotive plant — Volkswagen’s facility in Puebla — employs 6,100 assembly line workers, 5,000 supervisory employees and thousands of other people who handle parts assembly, according to Bloomberg.

Puebla's Volkswagen manufacturing plant
Puebla’s Volkswagen manufacturing plant, which has been in operation for 55 years. (Volkswagen México)

Vallejo said that 23 of Mexico’s 32 states have attempted to lure BYD with proposals to host the company’s plant. He said the company has narrowed its options to three states.

Federal officials told Reuters in April that pressure from United States authorities had led the Mexican government to refuse to offer incentives such as low-cost public land and tax cuts to Chinese electric vehicle manufacturers planning to invest in Mexico.

In February, when BYD confirmed it would open a plant in Mexico, Vallejo said that the company was looking at parts of the country where there is already an established automotive sector. He said the automaker was seeking the location with the “best conditions,” taking things such as local infrastructure and the availability of labor into account.

BYD Americas CEO Stella Li told Reuters in February that the Shenzhen-based company would make 150,000 vehicles per year for the Mexican market at its proposed plant.

BYD Shark model hybrid pickup
BYD launched its first hybrid pickup truck model (Shark) in Mexico last month. (BYD México)

“Our plan is to build the facility for the Mexican market, not for the export market,” she said.

Sales of Chinese vehicles increased significantly in Mexico last year, but two of five Chinese automakers for which national statistics agency INEGI provides data saw their sales decline on an annual basis in the first five months of the year.

Vallejo told Bloomberg that BYD is on track to sell 50,000 vehicles in Mexico this year. In the last quarter of 2023, BYD overtook Tesla as the world’s largest EV manufacturer by sales, but most of its customers are in China.

As the company seeks to increase its sales in other countries, it launched its first-ever pickup truck model — the BYD Shark — in Mexico last month.

With reports from Bloomberg


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