* Company plans to hire some 150 people for new office
* Expects California sales of its electric car next year
LOS ANGELES, April 30 Chinese car and battery
maker BYD Co (1211.HK), backed by U.S. billionaire Warren
Buffett, said on Friday it would put its North American
headquarters in Los Angeles, California.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has focused on
getting green technology companies to set up shop in his state
offering tax breaks for makers of so-called green technology
He credited the state's energy policies for attracting BYD
and for creating the estimated 150 jobs planned for its
headquarters, which will be involved with marketing, sales,
technical support, local product design and training.
Officials did not say how much taxpayer funds were being
used in the deal.
Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N) (BRKb.N) owns 10
percent of BYD, which has said it could also build a
manufacturing facility in the United States, depending on
demand for its E6 electric car here.
The company plans to export the car to the U.S. market
later this year for testing, and to begin commercial sales of
it in California in 2011, Stella Li, BYD senior vice president
She declined to say what the car would cost or specify the
company's sales goals were.
BYD will likely go up against Nissan (7201.T), Ford (F.N)
and General Motors [GM.N], which are all planning to release
electric cars in the United States soon.
Li said BYD welcomed the competition.
"We want to encourage all the automakers to produce the EV
(electric vehicle) because if everyone pushes the EV market,
then we create this market," she said.
(Reporting by Dana Ford)