The Association for Manufacturing Technology reports that Chinese carmaker BYD has announced plans to open the first manufacturing plant in the U.S. city of Lancaster, Southern California.

Stella Li, senior vice president of BYD, said at a press conference on Wednesday, May 1, that the carmaker would begin operating a plant to produce electric buses, which marks the firm's first production line in North America and South America.

"Today marks the first time a Chinese vehicle company opens a vehicle manufacturing plant in the United States," Li said.

BYD, standing for "Build Your Dreams", aims to produce more than 50 electric buses by 2014. The first 10 zero-pollution vehicles, which have already been ordered by the city of Long Beach, Southern California, will roll off the assembly line next May.

All those electric buses will be powered by the company's own iron-phosphate batteries, which will be manufactured in a separate plant near the bus factory in the coming months.

The company's electric bus, supported with BYD solar panels, LED lighting and energy-efficient technologies, can provide a range of over 248 kilometers on a single charge, among the highest in the world.

The arrival of the two manufacturing facilities will provide local community with hundreds of jobs as BYD expands its operations in the United States, and also represents a significant investment into local economy and in California. When the vehicle plant reaches full production, Li said it could employ as many as 1,000 people.

View the press release in its entirety online.