Los Angeles, California – Chinese alternate-energy automaker BYD will establish its North American headquarters in downtown Los Angeles.  BYD chairman Chuanfu Wang made the announcement on the steps of Los Angeles’ City Hall, along with L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

“By bringing global alternative energy companies to Los Angeles, we are securing our future and building the foundation for an emerging industry that will attract good-paying, green-collar jobs for generations of Angelenos,” Villaraigosa said. “In working closely with BYD and getting a true sense of what they need to succeed, we now have a road map for attracting the companies that will build the foundation for a healthy, dynamic economic base and a more prosperous future.”

BYD expects to hire 150 workers throughout 2010 and 2011 as it rolls out its fleet of vehicles, first to California markets before expanding throughout the country. The company has signed a long-term lease for its headquarters in the downtown business distract and expects to take occupancy in the fourth quarter of 2010. The building will also house BYD’s Research & Development arm, which will develop current versions of popular vehicles selling in China for the U.S. market.

BYD sold nearly 450,000 vehicles in 2009, up 170 per cent from a year earlier, and this year expects to sell 700,000 vehicles. It employs 130,000 people worldwide in offices including the Netherlands, Denmark, Hungary, Romania, Japan, South Korea, India, Taiwan and Hong Kong.

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