Friday, April 30, 2010
Los Angeles Lures Electric Vehicle Firm, Backed By Warren Buffett
Los Angeles has lured BYD, a Chinese alternative-energy auto maker, to the city, as Southern California seems to have become a magnet for electric and other alternative automotive firms. According to an announcement Friday by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, BYD--which is backed by Warren Buffet--will establish its North American headquarters in downtown Los Angeles. The move is expected to bring 150 jobs to the city along Figueroa Avenue. The City of Los Angeles said that the firm will open a headquarters at 1800 South Figueroa for its North American operations. BYD sold almost 450,00 vehicles in 2009, and has 130,000 employees employed elsewhere internationally. BYD stands for Build Your Dreams, and is backed by Warren Buffet's MidAmerican Energy Holdings Co., which owns 9.9 percent of the firm. Southern California is fast becoming a hot location for the electric and alternative vehicle industry, with automakers Coda Automotive, Fisker Automotive, Aptera Motors, and V-Vehicle also all in the region, plus Silicon Valley's Tesla Automotive also planning a plant in the Downey area.