BYD ties up to assemble cars in Russia
China's car maker BYD Co will assemble cars in Russia by partnering Russian firm TagAZ as part of its strategy to expand overseas.
Russia's Kommersant newspaper yesterday reported that TagAZ, located in Taganrog, had completed assembly of BYD's F3 sedan last year, citing statements from the companies.
BYD, a leading electric car maker backed by United States billionaire Warren Buffett, aims to turn out 10,000 cars in Russia by the end of this year, the newspaper said.
Teaming up with TagAZ will allow BYD to replace South Korea's Hyundai Motor Co as the Russian firm's main partner, the paper added, citing an unnamed employee.
No BYD official was available for comment yesterday.
Wang Chuanfu, chairman of BYD, earlier said overseas expansion is one of its core strategies as it sees the market potential of China's price-competitive vehicles is huge.
BYD also targets to build 40 overseas factories by 2025, each with an annual capacity of 300,000 units, to help drive its global ambition to be the world's largest auto maker by 2025.
BYD, which last month allied with Daimler to research development of electric cars in China, will start selling its F3DM plug-in electric cars in the US as early as the end of this year.
Analysts said the entry of BYD into the Russian market will increase competition between it and other Chinese auto makers such as Chery Automobile Co Ltd and Great Wall in emerging markets.
Chery plans to invest $1 billion to build a plant in Belarus which will export its vehicles to Russia.
Last year, about 24,500 Chinese-branded vehicles were sold in Russia.
BYD also has plans to build three to five plants in China by 2015 to boost its total capacity to over 900,000 units annually. The car maker now has a factory in Xi'an in west China's Shaanxi Province and a Shenzhen plant in south China.