The Changsha division of Chinese carmaker BYD has been in the public spotlight as of late following allegations of damaging pollution. According to a report by Cailian Press on Monday, people familiar with the matter revealed that the factory has been shut down for rectification.
Beginning in April, residents, including children, nearby to BYD’s factory in Changsha have been experiencing illness. The factory is located in the largest city in central China’s Hunan province. Symptoms have included frequent nosebleeds, dizziness, nausea and chronic coughing.
In response, on May 7, BYD said that the industrial park where the plant located was put into use in 2012, and its emissions met relevant national laws and standards. The company has taken measures to solve the problems that have emerged.
On May 8, the local government posted on its official WeChat account, stating: “An investigation team was sent to inspect the plant.”
BYD’s Changsha company was put into production in 2012, which is one of the strategic bases for new energy vehicle production with the most complete product line of BYD at present. It can produce a variety of passenger cars such as the Qin Plus DM-i, Song MAX DM-i, Yuan Pro, in addition to the Destroyer 05, e2, e3, K series and pure electric buses.
According to local media reports in Changsha, in the first quarter of this year, BYD’s Changsha division produced 62,500 cars, a year-on-year increase of 271%. Meanwhile, BYD’s own report shows that its overall output in the first quarter was 292,000 vehicles. Overall, the Changsha Factory contributed about 21% of the company’s total output in the period.
Although China’s auto market was hit hard by the epidemic in April, BYD still managed to show strong growth as it sold 106,000 vehicles in April, up 134.4% year-on-year.
The rapid growth of sales volume is inseparable from the support of production capacity. At present, BYD’s four production bases in Shenzhen, Xi’an, Changsha and Changzhou have been put into production. The newly-built production bases in Hefei, Shenzhen, Zhengzhou, Jinan and Xiangyang, which had been announced before, are stepping up efforts to enter production sooner.
One example is the Qin Plus DM-i, a popular BYD model. This model is currently produced in the Changsha factory but the Hefei factory also plans to produce this model. Some industry analysts commented on the expansion plans: “With more production bases, the temporary rectification of the Changsha factory may have little impact on BYD’s overall production capacity.”