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BYD, Guangzhou Automobile open electric-bus plant

GUANGZHOU, China -- BYD and Guangzhou Automobile Group started operations at an electric-bus plant here Friday, aiming to encourage broader adoption of the technology.

     The Chinese automakers created a joint venture for electric buses, reportedly planning to invest 3 billion yuan ($472 million). They are targeting annual production capacity of 5,000 buses and yearly sales of 6 billion yuan. The Guangzhou municipal government already has ordered 400 buses.

     BYD is expanding its own electric-bus operations as well. It brought a plant in Tianjin on stream this summer and also will start producing buses in Brazil as early as this year at a new factory in Campinas in the state of Sao Paulo.

     Guangzhou Automobile, a state-owned enterprise under the umbrella of the city of Guangzhou, mainly makes passenger vehicles. It is known for joint ventures with Japanese peers such as Honda Motor and Toyota Motor.

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