Bus builder Alexander Dennis has signed a deal with a Chinese firm which could be worth nearly £2 billion.
The Falkirk-based firm will build vehicles for the world’s biggest producer of electric buses.
Its joint venture agreement with BYD is on the back of the UK state visit by Chines president Xi Jinping.
The two companies are also in talks to extend their alliance to include double-decker buses, which could triple the deal to almost £2 billion.
The contract was signed by Wang Chuan-fu, founding chairman of BYD, and Colin Robertson, chief executive of Alexander Dennis.
Mr Wang said: “Working with top industry partners such as ADL (Alexander Dennis Limited) will enable us to speed up acceptance of our vision for fully-electrified public transport systems that can make a major contribution towards the clean air challenges facing cities around the world.
“ADL’s know-how and local market experience in the UK, combined with their global expertise in the double-deck sector and our class-leading knowledge of electric technology, creates the perfect platform to jointly develop a range of cost effective, emission-free vehicles to suit every requirement.”
Mr Robertson said: “This is the start of an exciting journey with enormous potential and we are delighted to be working with BYD.
“Their expertise in electric vehicle technology is second-to-none, while we have a global reputation for robust, reliable, high performance vehicles that deliver what they promise – and are backed by world-leading parts and service support, both in the UK and international markets.
“The combined strengths of BYD and ADL create a powerful new alliance and I look forward to our business relationship flourishing in the years ahead. It is a fine example of British-Chinese co-operation and two innovative companies working together to create cleaner, greener transport solutions.
“It is also important to recognise that it is initiatives like this that help us support 2500 ADL jobs and a further 1500 in our build partnerships around the world.”