On April 30, 2010, at a news conference attended by L. A.’s .major Antonio Villaraigosa and Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Chairman of BYD, Li, Chuan-fu, declared L. A., California to be the location of its North American headquarters. BYD plans to hire a workforce of 150 in two years for the development and promotion its electric vehicles, the E6 in particular which is scheduled for market release later this year, as well as solar and battery storage technology.
BYD is founded in 1995, and has been a major global supplier of cell phone batteries. It launched its auto division in 2003, and F3, its compact sedan model, has been the best selling passenger car in China for months. In 2009, it sold a total of 448,397 vehicles. Listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, it is partly owned by Warren Buffett.