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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, May 1, 2010

Chinese manufacturer plans U.S. headquarters

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES A rapidly expanding manufacturer of all-electric cars, solar panels and other green products from China announced yesterday it will open a North American headquarters in Los Angeles, with plans to begin selling autos in the U.S. by the end of the year.

City officials said the arrival of BYD Inc. of Shenzhen, China, will initially create about 150 high-paying jobs as the company hires managers, designers and engineers to staff the new downtown headquarters. As it begins to market cars in the U.S., officials expect several hundred more jobs to be created in related industries involving service and sales.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger hailed the move as a coup for California and proof that the state's promotion of green energy programs is paying off by attracting high-tech, clean-energy companies that will help consumers reduce both pollution and their reliance on foreign oil.

Since starting BYD in 1995, chairman and founder Wang Chaun-fu has built it into the world's largest producer of rechargeable batteries for cell phones and laptop computers. The company, which employs 150,000 people, also produces solar panels, lighting systems and is working to develop a technology to store solar energy.