Chinese automaker BYD is set to open its North American headquarters in Los Angeles today. The company says that the office will add around 150 jobs to the area, including engineering and management positions. In addition, the manufacturer has announced a partnership with Hertz that will see BYD electric shuttles transport rental car customers to and from their vehicles at the Los Angeles International Airport. BYD is hoping to position itself as an EV specialist here in the States, but Edmunds Auto Observer reports that the automaker has seen its fair share of problems over the past year.
In 2010, BYD sold 519,800 vehicles, which is a far cry from the 800,000 units the company forecast earlier in the year. Likewise, 2011 hasn't been any kinder to the automaker, with 232,400 vehicles sold from January through July. In addition, labor, research and administrative costs have all increased as the company's profits have slid off among weak consumer confidence.
Currently BYD plans to offer two vehicles in the U.S. – an all-electric sedan and the E6 SUV EV.