BYD Co, which is China's largest rechargeable battery maker and a well-known automobile producer, is planning to buy Hunan Sanxiang Bus Group from the Midea Group for at least RMB 2 billion to expand its production capacity of alternative fuel vehicles, according to the Hunan Economic Committees' website, Reuters reported Friday.
BYD will take over the bus-making company's facilities in Changsha, the capital of Hunan Province, and produce sedans, small vans and parts.
BYD declined to comment on the report, said Reuters.
Shenzhen-headquartered BYD is currently the world's second-largest producer of rechargeable batteries for mobile phones and the world's largest producer of nickel-cadmium batteries.
BYD F3DM, the world's first mass-produced plug-in hybrid vehicle, was released in December 2008 for sale to government agencies and corporations and will be sold to individuals in the second half of this year.
In May, Germany-based Volkswagen AG signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with BYD to jointly develop hybrid and electric vehicles powered by BYD's lithium-ion batteries. Volkswagen was the first major industrial partner for BYD.
BYD, which currently has two manufacturing bases in China, sold 176,795 vehicles in the first half of this year, representing a significant growth of 176% from a year earlier, sources reported. In June alone, BYD sold 34,246 vehicles compared with 15,173 units a year earlier.