China-based BYD, a firm specializing in rechargeable batteries, electric bus and vehicle manufacturing and green energy technologies, plans to establish two facilities in the northern Los Angeles County city of Lancaster, California, an electric bus manufacturing plant and large-scale battery production center.
BYD purchased the former Rexhall Industries recreational vehicle manufacturing facility in Lancaster to house its electric bus manufacturing operations. President and Chief Executive Officer of Rexhall Industries, William Rex, will stay on as General Manager for BYD Coach & Bus LLC. A number of current Rexhall employees will also stay on as the plant transitions to BYD ownership. “This truly is the best of both worlds,” said Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris.
“With this arrangement, BYD benefits from a ready-made, fully-permitted facility which perfectly suits its needs, and will also enjoy access to the expertise of highly trained personnel with extensive experience in the manufacturing industry. Simultaneously, Rexhall staff will enjoy stable, green-sector jobs, along with a significant number of local families who will benefit from the new jobs BYD’s operations will create,” Parris said.
“We truly are making history,” the mayor added. “The City of Lancaster is honored to play host to BYD, a first-rate firm known around the globe as a leader in battery and sustainable energy technologies. Our community looks forward to working hand-in-hand with BYD as they develop and perfect their e-bus and energy storage technology right here in Lancaster. The opening of not one, but two manufacturing facilities will provide local workers with hundreds of jobs as BYD expands its operations here in the United States, and also represents a significant investment into our local economy and in California.”
“Our relationship with the City of Lancaster started in 2009, when Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. President, Bill Allen, introduced us,” said Stella Li, President of BYD Motors. “We have been extremely impressed with the resources of LA County and the leadership shown across many cities, including Los Angeles, Long Beach and Lancaster.”
In April, the Long Beach California Transit Authority awarded the firm a $12.1 Million contract to produce ten electric buses. “BYD is thrilled to be a part of the new zero-emissions legacy beginning in Long Beach with their electrified public transportation.
Mayor Foster and LBT CEO Larry Jackson are visionary leaders in that community,” said Stella Li. “Additionally, our Los Angeles Headquarters will continue to expand research and development jobs to support these manufacturing facilities as well as sales and HR support for all of North and South America – thanks to Mayor Villariagosa.”