Lancaster welcomes BYD

BYD Coach and Bus is located at the former Rexhall Industries at 46147 BYD Boulevard (previously 7th Street West).

BYD Coach & Bus is located at the former Rexhall Industries at 46147 BYD Boulevard (previously 7th Street West). The electric bus manufacturing facility is one of two BYD facilities in Lancaster.

LANCASTER – China-based BYD and the City of Lancaster held a press conference Wednesday to announce the arrival of two BYD manufacturing facilities in Lancaster – an electric bus manufacturing facility and an Iron-Phosphate energy module (large scale battery) manufacturing facility.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris speaks at a press conference Wednesday to announce BYD's arrival to Lancaster.

Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris speaks at a press conference Wednesday to announce BYD’s arrival to Lancaster.

“When you take China and put it together with the U.S., something different happens, something emerges,” said Lancaster Mayor R. Rex Parris.

“BYD and Lancaster share the same eco dreams. We are committed to promoting new energy products,” said Stella Li, President of BYD Motors.

BYD, short for “Build Your Dreams,” is an international firm that specializes in rechargeable batteries, vehicle manufacturing and green energy technologies. BYD employs more than 160,000 people around the world, with operations in China, the United States, Europe, Japan, South Korea, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong and other regions. BYD’s US corporate headquarters is located in Los Angeles, while the Lancaster facilities mark the firm’s first manufacturing facilities in North America.

BYD's zero-emissions electric buses provide a range of over 155 miles on a single charge.

BYD’s zero-emissions electric buses provide a range of over 155 miles on a single charge.

“Walking in the footsteps of Antelope Valley pioneers, BYD is bringing jobs and economic growth and vitality to the Antelope Valley and Los Angeles County,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich.

BYD has purchased the former Rexhall Industries recreational vehicle manufacturing facility in Lancaster, at 46147 7th Street West (now BYD Boulevard), to house its electric bus manufacturing operations.

Rexhall Industries will now combine its manufacturing operations with its sales facility on 23rd Street West, while President and Chief executive Officer of Rexhall Industries, William Rex, will stay on as General Manager for the new BYD Coach & Bus LLC. A number of current Rexhall employees will also stay on as the plant transitions to BYD ownership, city officials said.

“With this arrangement, BYD benefits from a ready-made fully-permitted facility which perfectly suits its needs, and will also enjoy access to the expertise of highly trained personnel with extensive experience in the manufacturing industry,” Parris said.

BYD has immediate plans to produce 10 zero-emissions, all-electric buses for the Long Beach Transit Authority, thanks to a $12.1 million contract awarded to BYD in April.

“It’s capable of manufacturing more than 1,000 buses per year,” Li said of the new Lancaster facility. “If we keep our aggressive schedule, production will begin in October of this year.”

BYD’s second manufacturing facility is located about two miles away from the electric bus facility, city officials said.

“It’s across the tracks at the old Budweiser plant,” Parris said, adding that Iron-Phosphate energy modules are much more than batteries.

“The goal is, when you have cheap electricity at night, from wind and things like that, if you could store that then you don’t have to power up the pollution producing plants during the day,” Parris said.

“A lot of people are doing clean energy, what we’re doing here is pure energy, there is no downside,” Parris continued.

Lancaster's Deputy Mayor Kit Yee Szeto and Councilmember Sandra Johnson toured the new electric bus Wednesday.

Lancaster’s Deputy Mayor Kit Yee Szeto and Councilmember Sandra Johnson toured the new electric bus Wednesday.

The two manufacturing facilities, which will begin operating in the coming months, will provide local workers with hundreds of jobs as BYD expands its operations in the United States, according to Parris.

“Initially there will be 200 [jobs] and then it will expand after that,” Parris said. “A lot depends on how quickly other transportation agencies start ordering the buses, but that’s going to happen fast.”

BYD’s relationship with the City of Lancaster began in 2009 when Antonovich introduced BYD representatives to City leaders.

In 2010, Antonovich led a trade mission to China and invited Parris and City representatives to join the effort to attract firms to Lancaster. Parris and his team visited BYD’s headquarters in Shenzhen to further develop the relationship.

Upon returning to the US, Parris led an effort to partner with BYD and KB Home to create the “Home of the Future,” which used BYD solar panels, BYD LED lighting and BYD residential energy storage to create an affordable green energy home. (Read more here).

“This cemented the concept in my mind that BYD must be part of Lancaster’s future,” Parris said.

For more on BYD, visit or www.facebook/bydcompany.

  69 comments for “Lancaster welcomes BYD

  1. William
    May 8, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    @sikntired. Re: a bus Japanese bus factory in Palmdale. I caught part of an interview with Mayor Ledford and I think he said it would be a ‘rail car factory’.

    But, what struck me the most was, where is all the fanfare for it that typically accompanies the opening of a hot dog stand in Lancaster with Parris front and center in the photo ops?

    Mayor Ledford just keeps making things happen in Palmdale minus the off-putting braggadocio emanating from Parris’s orifice.

    • Resident Cynic
      May 8, 2013 at 6:28 pm

      Hmm. Let’s see. 10 buses for $12.1 million versus 235 rail cars for $890 million? Do the math. Jimbo wins.

    • sikntired
      May 8, 2013 at 7:09 pm

      I believe you are correct,and I think the article said they are in discussion about it,I think it’s site 9 they are considering which belongs to L.A.World airports.
      As far as the bragging,guess he thinks it makes him look bigger.

      • William
        May 8, 2013 at 8:12 pm

        I haven’t made a fuss about the China-connection with BYD.

        However, Japan has been an ally of the United States most of my life while China is a trading partner, for sure. But, an ally???

        Jimbo wins on that count too!!!

        Funny how Parris has warmer relations with Communist China than he does with his next door neighbors in the Antelope Valley whom he’ll sue if they do anything he doesn’t like. $$$ talks. And, Rex waves his hands a lot.

        • sikntired
          May 8, 2013 at 8:19 pm

          yeaah,i noticed that.Do you supposed he was coached by someone to do that ? It looks….well,unmanly.

          • William
            May 8, 2013 at 9:37 pm

            How can a bully be ‘unmanly’? Let’s ask him.

            Do you think he waves his hands in front of juries? How do they keep a straight face.

            Judge – “If there is any more giggling and snickering, I will clear this courtroom. Mr. Parris, you will refrain from waving your hands.”

          • sikntired
            May 8, 2013 at 11:04 pm

            Yes I think he probably does.
            and weakness is the essence of the bully mentality, so…

  2. Resident Cynic
    May 8, 2013 at 9:31 am

    Input from the citizenry? In Lancaster? Are you serious? Just ask the homeowners who live near the proposed Wal-mart how their input was received.

  3. Mike
    May 5, 2013 at 6:20 pm

    I notice a lot of Chinese exchange students at Desert Christian.

    You can better dollars to yuan their setup here in the AV is connected to this deal and the Parris et al visits to China.

    • Green is a cover-up
      May 5, 2013 at 10:35 pm

      They can all ride the new bus that Marvin”the RAT’ Crist got them for free from our air district he sits on as a board member. He is keeping it all for his political buddies.

      • AVNewsReader
        May 6, 2013 at 9:48 am

        Eventually, they “will” come up with some “legal” way to get free ride anyways!

  4. Michael Rives
    May 4, 2013 at 12:44 pm

    I got before the Lancaster City Council and spoke against the renaming of streets at this point, but if the council was going to do so, they could make the signs like the Rancho Vista Blvd (Avenue P) sign on 10th St W, so people, like me, would not get confused. The map books don’t show all the changes and some people might get lost. Mayor Parris requested the city manager to look into this. What I see in the paper is a picture of a changed sign with no designation of the old street underneath it. I wish someone in city hall would look into this because a lot of the foreigners are going to be using map books and they are going to have a hard time.

    • William
      May 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm

      Naming a street after a company is fine when it’s a brand new street and it serves the company headquarters or something. But, changing street names just adds complexity and delay in mapping and adds confusion to getting around town. That should always be taken into consideration.

      I wonder when they are going to name Sierra Highway from one end of Lancaster to the other, R. Rex Parris Parkway Boulevard Way. Those street signs will be a hot item.

      • Mick
        May 7, 2013 at 7:45 pm

        They already allowed Scoot Elrich to re-name “Elm” to his last name “Elrich”. I’m quite sure I’m misspelling it but I don’t care enough to check.

        • sikntired
          May 7, 2013 at 10:47 pm

          Seemslike the citizenry should have a say about this street renaming stuff,it is their community.These are not even people or businesss from this community.

  5. Jim Beam
    May 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm

    Has any other mayor reversed the drain of jobs from America to China. It sounds to me like Mayor Parris has done the impossible. Even Obama failed at this.

    • Resident Cynic
      May 3, 2013 at 9:36 pm

      The contract is for 10 buses. BYD won’t say exactly how many jobs but one spokesperson said it is roughly one job per bus.

      • May 4, 2013 at 12:36 pm

        “BYD, in which Warren Buffett is an investor, has manufactured 1,000 electric buses, most of which operate in China. A small number operate in Europe and South America. At the time of its winning bid, it had no operational production facility in the U.S. The company subsequently has announced plans to assemble Long Beach’s buses at a former RV-facility in Lancaster, Calif.”

        So, none of the buses are destined to stay local. And the 10 buses must be delivered by the contract date, June 14. And according to the article, the buses must be 60% American made. Now how will that be achieved when almost everything is made overseas?

        • Resident Cynic
          May 4, 2013 at 4:28 pm

          The spies don’t really care.

  6. ed
    May 3, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    Nee How. Chinese Greeting. Actually means “your good”.
    Nee How Ma. Chinese Response. “and how are you”
    Who Hen How, Another Response. “I’m very good”.

    Better learn Chinese. They will be here soon.

  7. AVNewsReader
    May 3, 2013 at 1:22 pm


    • May 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm

      Your comments were removed because they contained unproven allegations and stereotypes. If you have facts to back up your claims against Chinese immigrants, feel free to post them, and your comments will remain. Otherwise, we must remove them for posting false information. This goes for all other comments we recently removed.

      • david g
        May 3, 2013 at 2:48 pm

        I do not agree with any type of censorship unless the party who won’t their comments ask otherwise freedom of speech is to encourage debate weather it be disinformation, lies, or just human error it is fundumental in learning and correcting of false information.

        David grajeda.

        • John Howard
          May 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm

          Which is why it’s a good thing LASD has 50 new Tasers.. so they can shut you up when you think you are entitled to exercise your freedoms..
          I hear you like tasers..

          • OT
            May 4, 2013 at 11:26 pm

            WOW That you Rex?

          • John Howard
            May 5, 2013 at 1:34 pm

            OT, that’s not funny..
            More like
            tick tick tick
            [ Timber ]

            ^^Now that is funny^^

      • AVNewsReader
        May 6, 2013 at 9:38 am

        You conflict yourself.
        You post many news (hopefully those news are your) which they contained unproven information either. Can you said all of those phrases “..Will be bring jobs to AV..” “..Estimate profit $$m in the future..”, etc… , are 100% correct??? Do you have proven for that information?
        Where are all people who work for buffer nearby BestBuy? Did you see all Chinese in this store??? 2 years ago at least 2 people live in there at night (after store closed)!! Recently, there are a lot of Chinese exchange students at Desert Christian, and eventually, they “will” get married with American citizen (either real or fake marry like the current immigrants issues for most Asians)
        All information on paper is BS! Like another Solar companies who also said that to get FED fund then bankrupt last year! Or in local: did Mr. Mayor give open speak for the “Lancaster Marketplace” with the great ability for Lancaster?!?!? And now what; most stores are empty!!!

        Great America is not Great anymore!

        • Letlow
          May 6, 2013 at 10:45 am

          Oh give it a rest you racist. Big difference in stereotyping an entire race of people (in this case Chinese) and QUOTING government officials making estimations about the future. How does someone like you KNOW that Chinese people were living in a retail store anyway? Or that Chinese students at Desert Christian are looking to marry American citizens?? You really don’t see anything wrong with your offensive comments, and that is precisely what’s wrong with this Valley. “Great America is not Great anymore” because of people like YOU!

          • Mr. Mister
            May 8, 2013 at 12:57 pm

            Nicely said.

      • Stinger
        May 8, 2013 at 4:57 pm

        Aparently, the AV Times Staff now also believes in removing statements that are factually accurate… Couple this with recent stories that are not as controversial as those in the past and one could start wondering about what is going on there…

  8. Gary
    May 3, 2013 at 8:08 am

    Oh come on! There is zero downside to bringing good manufacturing jobs to the AV. None. Zilch. Nada.

    You don’t have to like Rex or his “insider boys” politics to give credit where credit is due.

    As time the notion of “North Korean” factories being operated here? If they’re viable,and create manufacturing jobs, then YEP! It’s not politics, it’s business.

    Good job Lancaster.

    • William
      May 3, 2013 at 11:20 am

      Every thing Parris and his gang do is suspect by now. Yes, even dictators have the trains run on time but at what cost to the entire community.

      • AntiWilliam
        May 3, 2013 at 12:33 pm

        Why dont you worry your little head about Palmdale since there is a lot of crap there to be worried about. You have a privatized city library ran by a questionable company. You have scandals galore in your Palmdale Water agency.You have a new Walmart being built in Rancho Vista that was slipped in by the city planning commission and city council without any say from citizens. You have a mayor who cannot tell you who 2/3rds of his constituents are.

        • William
          May 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm

          Well, I needn’t do it as you’ve covered it all, haven’t you?

          Do you work for the city of Lancaster? I bet ya do.

          Ever notice that Palmdale residents don’t complain about their mayor or the city government a fraction of what Lancaster residents do with their dictator and compliant council?

          None of my friends and neighbors who live here have ever complained to me about Palmdale in our conversations about local issues. They seem pretty satisfied with Mayor Ledford and living in Palmdale.

          Glad you brought it up.

          • Jim Beam
            May 3, 2013 at 8:01 pm

            Did you notice that Mayor Parris was re-eledted with 80 per cent of the vote. Far more than the Palmdale Mayor.

          • William
            May 3, 2013 at 8:11 pm

            See if Parris is re-elected as often as Mayor Ledford, smarty pants Jim Beam.

          • John Howard
            May 6, 2013 at 10:53 am

            Two reasons that wont happen;
            1. There are term limits in Lancaster.
            2. Lancaster voters are smart enough to not blindly support the same person for 20 years. Proof: See reason one..

          • jack
            May 6, 2013 at 12:24 pm

            Funny. What term limits does Lancaster have?

          • jill
            May 6, 2013 at 12:26 pm

            And could Rex be elected by 80% if the election was held with elections were the people actually might come out to vote? Instead of just those who are told to hit the polls by their pastors?

          • jack
            May 6, 2013 at 12:27 pm

            Sounds like Rex. “Look at Palmdale, don’t look at me!”

          • William
            May 6, 2013 at 12:30 pm

            I guess the term limits will save Lancaster from Rex.

            We don’t need them in Palmdale. Mayor Ledford has done an excellent job over 20 years or he would have been replaced. When I moved to Palmdale in 1990, there wasn’t much to recommend it as far as shopping and dining and recreation. It was just closer to the SFV as far a commuting.

            But, now. It’s the shopping and dining destination in the Valley and beyond. The future will be even better when the transportation projects are completed.

            Meanwhile, you’re stuck with Parris and all his nonsense. Bad PR for Lancaster.

            As for Jim Beam, isn’t the low voter turnout with elections at a different time than other elections and Parris with his money and LBC connections the only reason he was elected? But, you can keep on defending the indefensible if you like.

          • sikntired
            May 7, 2013 at 1:03 pm

            Read today’s paper.I don’t think he was under the weather for prayer day, he was preparing his case to sue Palmdale. Despiccable.

          • Resident Cynic
            May 7, 2013 at 9:31 pm

            Sickntired, did you really expect anything different from him? Every day seems to reach a new low.

          • sikntired
            May 7, 2013 at 10:44 pm

            Well,he could have really beeng sick,maybe he heard the Japanese are considering bringing a bus factory to Palmdale.

  9. Green is a cover-up
    May 2, 2013 at 10:00 pm

    Marvin’the rat’ Crist is ready to use our tax dollars to buy one of these 2 million dollar buses. It will be fun to learn how he pulls it off without any of us knowing what happened.

  10. nadia
    May 2, 2013 at 8:41 pm

    I wonder how much money Rex got for clinching and closing this deal with China?

  11. Letlow
    May 2, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    BYD promised 150 jobs in LA, got $2 million in incentives and delivered 40 jobs?!?!?! Oh say it ain’t so, SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!

    I snatched this link from someone on the AVT facebook page:

    I might be eating crow for my earlier comment praising BYD.

  12. Annoyed
    May 2, 2013 at 3:55 pm

    Well hopefully they will at least spend their money locally. Throw us a bone here.

  13. QHR
    May 2, 2013 at 6:15 am

    This is great for our local economy!

  14. AnotherWonderingMind
    May 2, 2013 at 12:04 am

    To come to think about, why are we to argue with this company coming down to Lancaster, or any Chinese corporations as well?Don’t we have over a majority of U$A companies making business in China, all your consumer level products were made or assembled in China. To me, when something that can actually be beneficial for Lancaster, a lot of you guys complain and argue, rather than finding a solution. I work in Los Angeles, and im sure a whole lot of AV residents as well work down below, I find this monopoly of Industries and corporations finally taking their place in AV rather funny. Why? it would make a lot more convenient for people to fin more jobs locally, saving possibly hundreds on gas(and isn’t this a huge issue in 2013). Large corporations always means more jobs, and maybe this might increase this city budget, which hopefully and someday more money will be giving to organizations that will one day benefit our younger generation..

    • AnotherWonderingMind
      May 2, 2013 at 12:06 am

      Excuse my typos, no one is a saint…

    • Nikolas Malechikos
      May 2, 2013 at 8:34 am

      Good points! :-)

      We need more GOOD PAYING jobs up here in the Antelope Valley. We already have PLENTY of places to SPEND our money. But very few places to actually EARN a decent living (Like $50,000-$70,000/year salary…)

      BYD coming here is fantastic. Morton Manufacturing coming here is fantastic. The solar farm developments are fantastic. Palmdale power plant = fantastic.

      Good paying, LOCAL jobs.

      As has been posted by other folks, higher employment rates in the A.V., will have tremendous positive effects on our local crime rates.

  15. dumbandblind
    May 1, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    I don’t anyone would be complaining if they got hired by BYD.

  16. Johnny Trece
    May 1, 2013 at 6:48 pm

    Yeah! What’s up with the negativity? For the local economy and job market, this is great!
    We have our Walmarts and major U.S. fast food chains operating in China. Complaints about the Chinese opening ONE production facility here are just exaggerating.

  17. nadia
    May 1, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Incredible, but then this is Lancaster Ca for you. This is wrong in my opinion…
    Clean up the crime Rex R. Parris as we would all appreciate that a whole lot more.

    • Letlow
      May 1, 2013 at 5:54 pm

      What the heck is wrong with you people? So blinded by the fact that it is a Chinese company that you can’t see the benefits this company will bring?!?! Cities across the US courted this company and Lancaster got them. Kudos to Lancaster, and let’s welcome the JOBS and economic benefits this company will bring. You want Rex to “clean up the crime,” well guess what, unemployment is a gateway to crime. So more jobs to the AV should be a good thing right? Geesh people, get with the program!! I just can’t believe the negativity I’m reading here!

      • William
        May 1, 2013 at 6:23 pm

        What happend to Rexhall Industries, y’know, with the name ‘Rex’ in the title?

        • Hello
          May 1, 2013 at 7:01 pm

          They brought all their manufacturing to their property on 23rd St. W.

        • John Howard
          May 1, 2013 at 7:33 pm

          “William Rex” is a real person and the CEO of Rexhall (as stated in the article) not a pseudonym for R Rex Parris. Also [just to throw it in there for the conspirators] neither of them are involved in the ownership of BEX..
          It’s obvious that with the downturn in the economy that Rexhall (a recreational vehicle manufacturer) has been struggling for some time. Reading a little into this you can see that BYD is purchasing the manufacturing facility and retaining some remaining Rexhall employees.

          Saving jobs within Rexhall and eventually hiring more new employees as production ramps up.. seems like a win-win to any person with average intelligence..
          Besides your home mortgage is probably backed by Chinese money and every piece of clothing you own is made in China. Most people can’t go a day without funding china from their direct actions they have 100% control over, but now here, when jobs are on the table and the individual actions of the consumer are not even relevant, there is suddenly a desire to be overly patriotic.

          How about starting with the things you can control like the clothes on your back and the merchandise your buy. Then when you actually make some effort to buy American then you can come here (on your made in China computer or iPhone) and pitch your opposition.


          • William
            May 1, 2013 at 8:04 pm

            Dear John, it was a joke. I don’t recall making any comments here about it being a Chinese company but you went off on your rant anyway because, well, I guess because you’re you.

            Why do you suppose with all the ‘great and wonderful things’, the Wizard of Oz, I mean, Parris, proposes he gets so much negative publicity and feedback from Valley residents, especially Lancaster residents? Hmmm.

            Personally, as I live in Palmdale, I think he’s a bad neighbor for both Palmdale and Quartz Hill from his various actions, lawsuits and public comments. I wonder if he plans on offending Rosamond in the future to make it complete.

            Why don’t you take up Parris’s negative public relations feedback with him? And, then get back to me.

      • Wow!
        May 2, 2013 at 3:24 pm

        You brought the negativity on yourself Rex. It’s called, “blowback.”

  18. William
    May 1, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    The photo with the caption that says “Parris speaks’ is great. I can’t hear a thing but he’s waving his hands as usual, hence, he’s speaking.

  19. Amber
    May 1, 2013 at 5:05 pm

    Do we really need a Chinese bus company? What about an American electric bus company? Keep more jobs and money here. I don’t think our military contracts, Lockheed, Plant 42, or Northrop and will like this very much. Just seems unnecessary and like a waste of money. Another King Parris move, like the WalMart in Quartz Hill and the Eye in the Sky.

    • Nikolas Malechikos
      May 2, 2013 at 8:36 am

      Anyone who doesn’t think the Chinese or the Russians or the French, etc… don’t already have operatives and agents here in the AV, is ignorant.

      BYD being here isn’t going to make it any EASIER for our adversaries to capture the information they’re after.

      Thankfully, our military and the defense contractors are well trained and versed in OpSec… After all, they’ve been perfecting it since the 1930’s… :-)

    • sikntired
      May 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      No one else wants to come to this God forsaken place, that’s why.

  20. Scott Pelka
    May 1, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    155 mile range… These buses will only run for 4 hours on an average bus route. Sounds like its a waste of money.

    • dumbandblind
      May 1, 2013 at 11:19 pm

      #Scott Pelka
      a waste of money compared to what? how much does a bus on diesel cost to run the same number of miles? Lets run the numbers shall we before concluding the degree of wastefulness.

      • Nikolas
        May 2, 2013 at 8:27 am

        ^^ Like!

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