BYD Names Top Quality Assurance/Quality Control and Safety Management Professionals to Team

Jan. 17, 2019
BYD announced the recent addition of two highly respected transportation professionals: Peter Hale as Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) Manager, and Robert Matute as Safety Manager, to its Lancaster, California manufacturing plant team.

Battery and battery-electric vehicle pioneer and global leader BYD (Build Your Dreams) announced the recent addition of two highly respected transportation professionals, Peter Hale as Quality Assurance/Quality Control (QA/QC) Manager, and Robert Matute as Safety Manager, to its Lancaster, California manufacturing plant team. With these two experienced veterans on board, BYD continues its investment in the North American market, critical zero-emission initiatives and ongoing advancement of its plant’s production and operational efficiency.  
“The appointment of world-class quality control and safety experts like Peter Hale and Robert Matute to our team are additional catalysts in our leadership advancement of this innovative and disruptive market,” said Stella Li, President of BYD North America. “We are committed to the highest quality products and experience for our customers as a total solutions provider, and the ongoing, safe workplace for our team.”
Hale brings over 35 years of public transit and private sector bus manufacturing experience from the U.S. and overseas, most recently, serving for six years as an Assistant Project Manager for the  Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro), one of the country’s largest agencies. He served as the technical liaison with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), and oversaw new builds of full electric buses, carried out new vehicle inspectors for compliance, signed off completed products and served as an overall technical advisor. Hale’s other career positions include Director of Sales and Service for North American Bus Industries, based in Alabama, where he worked with agencies like LA Metro and the Chicago Transit Authority on customer satisfaction and customer training. He also served as After Sales Director for the U.S for Optare Bus Manufacturers.
As the BYD QA/QC Manager, Hale will oversee the organization’s Quality Management System and verify conformance to customer, internal, ISO 9001, and regulatory/legal requirements; inspection of incoming materials; monitoring, measurement, and review of internal processes; and monitoring employee performance, safety and training.
“Following a lifelong career in the bus transit industry, it would be normal to stand down and reflect on the career experiences that have taken me around the world,” says Hale. “But, I have been an admirer of BYD since their early days, and the innovation level is so exciting. So, applying my technical and industry knowledge to their team is one more piece of my journey, and in the evolution of this technology. I am proud to lead a 40 person strong team of quality engineers and inspectors dedicated to keep BYD advancing and at the top of the industry.”
As BYD’s Safety Manager, Matute will oversee all aspects of safety, including compliance with local, state, and federal rules and regulations, including California Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OHSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Helping to maintain a safe workplace, he will develop and implement an updated facility management program including preventative maintenance and life-cycle requirements; provide ongoing safety training and awareness; conduct and document facility inspections; and oversee environmental health and safety.
Matute brings with him more than 20 years of safety management experience in assessing, designing and implementing safety guidelines. Prior to joining BYD, Matute served as the Safety Project Coordinator for the Nevell Group responsible for assisting in the management/administration of the company’s corporate safety program. In that role, Matute coordinated the training of workers on safety law and regulations, conducted job site safety inspections, and managed safety documentation. Matute’s career includes various roles with increased responsibility with T&R Construction Group, Lunas Construction, as Safety Manager; and Hirschi Masonry as Safety Director. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Sacred Heart University, Matute has received numerous industry training credentials.
“My goal is to achieve sustainable, best-in-class, safety performance,” Matute said. “We do this by building a strong unified leadership safety culture that engages and empowers employees at all levels to take ownership in reducing unsafe acts and exposure to accidents and injuries. Our actions and behaviors demonstrate that safety is a core value.”
Since it first opened in 2013, the Lancaster manufacturing plant has grown from 106,000-square-feet and a workforce of a few dozen to a facility that now covers more than a 546,000-square-feet and employs more than 700 workers. The firm is the only electric vehicle manufacturer in the U.S. to have an all-union workforce. BYD’s diverse plant workforce is currently comprised of 85% minority employees.
Pioneering zero-emission technology, the international firm is helping to revolutionize transportation, leave a cleaner environment and bring back manufacturing to the U.S. Its model proves that going green can be good for the economy, good for workers and good for America.