The UK has been the preferred list of locations for many companies that manufacture products on a large scale. However, China’s BYD thinks otherwise. They say that they have ruled out the UK from their possible factory location in Europe. Further stated that the reason is Brexit.
The Chinese automaker has set out ambitious plans to dominate the region’s electric vehicle market this decade, aiming to account for one in 10 battery cars sold by 2030 and wanting to be among the top three EV brands in Europe. But its European president Michael Shu said the UK did not even make the top 10 possible locations for its first European plant, with a shortlist of sites in Germany, France, Spain, Poland, and Hungary. He said, “As an investor we want a country to be stable. To open a factory..is a decision for decades.” Then he added, “Without Brexit, maybe. But after Brexit, we don’t understand what happened. The US doesn’t have a very good solution. Even on the long list, we didn’t have the UK.”
The group, backed by Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, wants to raise sales to about 800,000 models in Europe by 2030. With at least one car manufacturing facility in the region, they want to reach the goals. It already bakes buses in the region.
Production in the UK
It is not the first manufacturer to have cited issues relating to Brexit in deciding not to expand business opportunities in the UK. Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, said in 2019 that the decision to leave the EU made it too risky to build a gigafactory in the UK. The company built its first European plant in Germany, where it also created a research and development base. Other car manufacturers are also being forced to assess their business requirements amid tough global economic conditions. Ford announced 4,000 job cuts in Europe including 1,300 in the UK in February.
Ford has said it would invest $50bn (£41bn) in electric car production by 2026, but it must also decide what to do with operations built around the internal combustion engine before bans on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars. Jaguar has pledged to go all-electric by 2025 and BMW said last month that half its European sales will be electric by 2030. BYD is one of a handful of Chinese companies – such as Nio, Xpeng, and Li Auto – targeting the European electric car market. It has launched three models in Europe, in markets including Norway and Germany, and the all-electric Atto3 sports utility vehicle in the UK.