Chinese electric car company BYD is to set up its European headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, according to media reports.

The automaker, which unveiled its new California office in a high profile announcement alongside California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in May, will confirm the specific location later this year.

BYD plans to introduce its electric e6 model for testing in California by the end of 2010 and to roll it out to consumers in California and Europe by 2011, say sources at the firm.

On May 27, BYD announced a joint venture with German manufacturer Daimler to develop an electric vehcile for the Chinese market, which will be sold under a new brand owned 50:50 by both firms.

More recently, it has signed an agreement with France-based bank Societe Generale to create a vehicle financing firm in China to loan money for car purchases.

BYD isn't the only Chinese automaker with its eyes on the European market.

On June 8, Changan Automobile confirmed that it would establish a research and development center in Nottingham, Great Britain before the end of 2010.

The center will focus on powertrain and transmission technologies and electric and hybrid vehicles, tapping the UK's research capabilities of the UK's high-tech automotive business sector.

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