BYD Continues U.S. Investment with Addition of Respected Transportation Professionals for East Coast Team

Nov. 9, 2018

Los Angeles – (11/08/18) – Battery and electric vehicle pioneer and global leader BYD (Build Your Dreams) announced the recent addition of two new North America transportation professionals, Randy Premo and Karl Wheeler, for its East Coast team.

Premo will serve as BYD’s Regional Sales Manager, Northeast, which includes Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. Wheeler, as BYD’s Regional Sales Manager, Mid-Atlantic, will cover Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia, South Carolina, North Carolina, and the District of Columbia.

“Both Randy and Karl bring a depth of agency and bus experience in a variety of hands-on roles from maintenance to managerial, giving them a unique understanding of our clients’ requirements and needs,” said Bobby Hill, Vice President of BYD North America, Coach and Bus. “They will work with our current and potential clients to help implement zero-emission bus programs from the exploratory and planning stages through implementation, maintenance and expansion.”

Premo and Wheeler will report to John Manzi, BYD Director of Business Development-Eastern Region for Coach & Bus, East Coast, working together to continue expansion of the region.

Prior to joining BYD, Premo served more than 25 years with the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) in Albany, N.Y. He began as a cleaner and worked through the ranks to a mechanic, foreman, and trainer. Premo was promoted to Manager of Technical Training & Support, then to Superintendent of Garages and to his more recent post, Superintendent of Fleet Maintenance, where he oversaw off-property work, fleet maintenance, and warranties, and was involved in technical specs, busbuilds and vendor relations. He was also involved with quality assurance and quality control, workplace safety and supervisory and safety training, and Project Empire – New York States Transit Career Ladder Partnership, which is an innovative labor/management partnership focused on improving training for bus mechanics. Premo attributed his advancement in the public transit sector to the relationships he forged and the support of those he worked with during his career.

“I have been fortunate to work with a group of talented colleagues, and now I will use my experience to promote zero-emission battery-electric buses to public transit providers and their communities,” he said. “Our buses will decrease environmental concerns, improve overall operating costs and enhance customer relations by providing a cleaner, quieter and smarter bus choice to get them where they are going. I am excited to help my region and my country, as together we move toward bus electrification, and we hope even more of them are built in America by BYD.”

Wheeler brings more than 17 years of transit agency bus experience with the Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), beginning as a repairman in 2001 and rising through the ranks to serve as the manager of bus maintenance from 2011 to 2018. His responsibilities have included capital program planning and implementation, budget development, vehicle procurement, project management and controls, quality control, fleet vehicle advanced technologies and implementation, and cost containment/budget adherence. A proud second-generation mass transit worker, Wheeler’s father was a bus operator for more than three decades. Wheeler was a key member of the team that introduced the MTA to hybrid electric bus propulsion and its environmental and cost benefits. During his tenure, more than 350 hybrid electric transit bus propulsion systems were introduced into revenue service. Wheeler also managed four divisions, and four support shops with more than 100 employees and was responsible for the operation of buses, trains, locomotives, light rail vehicles, and community service vehicles. He played a key part in the procurement of new buses sales, as well as a significant role in advancing the state of good repair of MTA’s public transportation system including oversight of the preventive maintenance and quality of the 750-bus fleet, and facilities.

“Randy and I are both very excited to provide the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast markets all-electric buses manufactured by BYD,” Wheeler said. “This electric bus propulsion system option will improve the environment by reducing harmful emissions, our dependence on fossil fuels, and noise pollution while positively impacting service and maintenance.”

BYD has invested more than $250 million in the United States. The firm is the only electric vehicle manufacturer in the U.S. to have an all-union workforce, and an exceptionally diverse team of employees. BYD continues its expansion plans with the purchase of an additional 150 acres of land near its Lancaster plant; and is planning service/maintenance centers across the U.S. 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.