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BYD to build headquarters and plant in L.A.

LOS ANGELES – China’s independent carmaker BYD is looking to open its North American headquarters and an auto assembly plant in Los Angeles County, Los Angeles Business Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the matter.

BYD’s office may be modest in size, while the plant may cover more than 1 million square feet and create hundreds of jobs, according to the report. The location of the headquarters could be announced within the next few months, with the decision on the assembly plant coming later, sources told the newspaper.

Local authorities from both the Los Angeles County and Los Angeles City reportedly met BYD executives to woo the firm to locate its office and assembly line in the area. Long Beach and Lancaster have also joined the race to attract the Chinese carmaker.

BYD, which launched the world’s first plug-in hybrid and got investment of a quarter billion dollars from Warren Buffett, displayed its e6 pure electric vehicle at the 2010 Detroit auto show in January, and said it planned to start selling the car in the U.S. later this year and in Europe next year.

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