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Chinese EV giant BYD to build $1 billion plant in Turkey

Hong Kong CNN  —  China’s BYD, which vies with Tesla for the title of the world’s top maker of battery electric vehicles, has agreed to build a $1 billion car factory in Turkey, the Turkish government has announced. BYD’s CEO Wang Chuanfu and Turkey’s Industry and Technology Minister Mehmet Fatih Kaci signed the agreement in Istanbul, according to a statement from the Turkish ministry Monday. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan attended the signing ceremony, it said. “We aim to meet the growing demand for new-energy vehicles in the region and reach consumers in Europe,” the statement cited BYD representatives as saying. The announcement came just days after provisional additional duties on imports of Chinese-made EVs into the European Union came into effect. The tariffs, ranging from 17.4% to 37.6%, are aimed at stopping a flood of cheap Chinese cars built with what the EU deems unfair support from the government. Turkey is in a customs union with the EU. That means vehicles can be exported from the country to the trading bloc tariff-free. According to the agreement with Turkey, BYD will invest about $1 billion in the factory, which will be able to produce 150,000 electric and hybrid vehicles annually, and set up a research and development center for sustainable mobility technologies at the plant. The factory is expected to start production at the end of 2026 and provide as many as 5,000 jobs in the country. The BYD TANG EV and the BYD HAN EV are displayed during an exhibition test drive as the Chinese electric-vehicle producer announces its expansion to the consumer market next year in Mexico, in Toluca, Mexico, on November 29, 2022. Toya Sarno Jordan/Reuters Related article Mexico could help this huge Chinese carmaker crack the US market CNN has reached out to BYD for comment but hasn’t received a response. The EU’s decision earlier this year imposed an extra 17.4% tariff on the vehicles BYD ships from China to the bloc, which also has a standard 10% duty on all car imports. Talks between the EU and China are expected to continue but, if no agreement is reached, the additional tariffs will become definitive in November. BYD already announced in December that it would build an EV factory in EU member Hungary, becoming the first major Chinese automaker to build passenger cars in Europe. Scott McLean in Istanbul, Fred He in Hong Kong and Tanem Zaman in Dubai contributed reporting.