BYD – an acronym for Build Your Dreams – wants to be a star on the American auto scene, and the Chinese maker of cars, batteries and solar cells is setting up shop in Los Angeles to do it. With LA Mayor Villaraigosa and California Governor Schwarzenegger as a supporting cast, the company announced it would locate its headquarters at 1800 S. Figueroa Street in the financial district of downtown LA.
However, the company's first goal isn't making a mark with its cars. Right now it is focused on solar panels, aiming to make them popular enough that they cost less for consumers. Paraphrasing Bill Gates' ideas about the PC, BYD Chairman Chuan-Fu said he wants solar panels on every home.
After that, the company's next goal is to expand throughout the States, and only after that is done will it turn to building hybrid and fully electric cars here. BYD's new operations are expected to add several hundred jobs to the LA's employment rolls.