Chinese car manufacturer BYD has cut production at one of its key factories due to concerns over the pollution being generated by the plant.
BYD’s plant is located in the province of Hunan and has been the subject of protests from local residents who claim the facility is polluting the local environment. Some even claim it has caused nosebleeds among children, prompting authorities to open an investigation into the site.
It is understood that work on some of the factory’s production lines has been halted since late Sunday with one employee stating that the move has impacted welding, coating, and assembly. Chinese authorities have begun environmental tests at the plant and are doing the same at another plant in the nearby district of Xingsha, The Financial Times reports.
BYD has refused to comment on the cut to production on certain lines and asserts that its emissions comply with local regulations.
The investigation has prompted a sell-off in BYD’s shares, shortly after COVID-19 lockdowns across the country also spooked investors of EV makers.
“When you look at Tesla and BYD, how they go the market goes,” head of Sino Auto Insights, Tu Le, noted. “Up till now we hadn’t heard of BYD closing any factories. BYD is one of the stocks people will pay attention to even though what happened in Changsha doesn’t have anything to do with Covid.”
News of the investigation comes just a week after BYD released sales figures for what proved to be a very successful April. In fact, the car manufacturer sold a total of 105,475 passenger vehicles last month, of which 57,403 were all-electric models while the remaining 48,072 were plug-in hybrids.
BYD sold 397,420 vehicles across the first three months of the year, a jump of 166 per cent over the same period in 2021. This comes despite the company phasing out sales of all gasoline vehicles in March.