China’s BYD Co. has announced that a California labor law watchdog had dropped charges against it over wage issues regarding the payment of Chinese nationals working for the company’s BYD Coach & Bus subsidiary in the United States. Reuters is reporting that California’s Labor Commissioner’s office in October accused BYD of failing to pay five Chinese workers temporarily working in the United States the required minimum wage of $8/hr.
Backed by Warren Buffet and his investment company Berkshire Hathaway, Inc.,Automotive News is reporting that Chinese automaker BYD plans to deliver four models to the United States in late 2015.
In response to charges that it’s California electric bus building operation has been violating that state’s labor and minimum wage laws in the way it employs Chinese nationals, the company issued a statement saying that it is ”dedicated to ensuring that its employees are treated fairly” and that it would be hiring more American employees at its California electric bus factory. BYD explained that the Chinese nationals in question were engineers and experts that had been loaned by the parent company to transfer technology and train local employees and that they are not displacing any American workers. California labor officials had hit BYD with a $100,000 fine, charging that the company was paying its Chinese employees only $1.50/hr. The company is appealing that fine. BYD currently employs about 40 local workers at the plant. The state investigation was the result of charges by labor rights group Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy of minimum wage and other labor violations. Last week, BYD had said that the group was spreading “misinformation”.
BYD is stepping up efforts to sell electric vehicles overseas. The California facility is intended to supply contracts for electric buses for the Los Angeles and Long Beach municipalities. In Europe, BYD’s electric buses are in trial service in a number of cities and Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has ordered 35. The company plans to build those buses somewhere in Europe. ”We need to have around 100 sales in Europe to justify a plant and we believe that day is really near now,” Isbrand Ho, BYD Europe’s managing director, said in a statement. As yet no location has been chosen.
BYD electric buses have been tried out in Paris, Bremen, Bonn, Madrid, Barcelona, Salzburg, Warsaw, Amsterdam, Brussels and Budapest, and trials will begin in London as well. The electric bus is 12 meters (37 feet) long and is claimed to have a range of 250 kilometers (150 miles) in urban use, powered by lithium iron phosphate battery cells.
Scaling back from its former intentions of becoming “China’s No. 1 automaker by 2015 and the world’s leading car maker by 2025,” China’s BYD now wants to become a world-class fish in Hong Kong’s taxi pond. (Read More…)
So Denza, the odd couple joint venture between Daimler and BYD, lifted the veil of its upcoming all-electric SUV. A car in heavy camouflage rolled on stage here at the Shanghai Motor Show. The car looked, well, like the old B-Class from which it is derived. (Read More…)
At the Shanghai Auto Show, which opens to the public on April 21, and to tens of thousands of alleged members of the media the day before, the child of one of the auto industry’s oddest couples will be shown – at least in prototype form. It is the Denza EV, the product of a mésalliance between the world’s oldest and proudest automaker, Daimler, and a company that entered the annals of contemporary automotive history as the most brazen rip-off artist.
Of course we are talking of BYD, the Shenzhen, China, based maker of half the world’s cellphone batteries and a dwindling number of cars. A while ago, I visited an intrepid team of German engineers, shacked up at BYD, to jointly develop an electric car. They were friendly, hospitable, and as forthcoming as possible under the strange circumstances. For months, I could not bring it over me to put my fellow countrymen and expats in the dim light this story would project. Their job is tough enough. But in the interest of timeliness and journalistic duty, here it goes.
A fiery red car, seen in Beijing. An aggressive bumper sticker, showing the owner is very angry with Japan. Or, judging from the sticker, maybe it’s hot love? It’s all about those islands, which happen to sit on top of oil, and straight in one of the busiest shipping lanes in the world. What is this motherland-loving man driving? (Read More…)
BYD had made lots of announcements of exporting cars to the free world, but none of them have panned out so far. Remember BYD’s plans to take over America? Now finally we have what Reuters calls BYD’s “first overseas deal.” BYD will ship 50 e6 electric taxis to London in the second quarter of 2013.
Chinese upstart carmaker BYD isn’t as lucky as it used to be. Its sales and stock price are deep in the Chinese squat toilet. However, it is outdoing itself in the gadget dept. BYD, the company that brought us the remote controlled car, now brings us the watch that opens your car’s doors and starts it. Call it keyless entry that goes with the times. (Read More…)
BYD’s F3 received worldwide acclaim for being a Corolla ripoff. When the new F3 was announced at the Beijing Auto Show, Carnewschina wrote: “The new F3 is design-wise slightly better than the old BYD F3 which was a copy of the old Toyota Corolla, the new F3 is a copy of the new Corolla but slightly less obvious. For BYD, we call that a huge improvement!” Come on, Carnewschina, the new BYD F3 has something the Corolla does not have: A remote control. Not a remote control for doors. You can drive the car remotely like a toy. (Read More…)
U.S. Senators long have warned of an exodus of American know-how to China. Last year, Michigan Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin complained to United States Trade Representative Ron Kirk about another attempt by China ”to illegally gain an unfair advantage over the U.S. automobile industry that will cost our country jobs. The United States must respond strongly to stand up for American businesses and working families.”
A year later, the exodus is in full swing, and it starts to hurt. This time, it pains automakers to see how Chinese companies are getting their hands on taxpayer-funded secrets. (Read More…)
The previous BYD F3 was known as a more than blatant copy of the Toyota Corolla. Many buyers pay a small extra fee to have (fake) Toyota badges affixed, making the F3 nearly indistinguishable from the real thing. The next generation BYD F3 wants to be known for groundbreaking innovation: The car will be remote controlled. (Read More…)
Pictures of a burning BYD e6 sent the already beaten down BYD stock on a nose-dive yesterday. The e6 is one of the rare BYD electric cars, used in a taxi test in the Chinese city of Shenzhen. A Nissan GT-R had crashed into two taxis, one a conventional Santana, the other an electric e6. The e6 immediately did burst into flames. Two female passengers and the driver were killed. (Read More…)