Like sand through the hourglass…
In an attempt to create some form of damage control, BYD Motors brought on a crisis management lawyer by the name of Lanny Davis to help alleviate some of the problems the bus manufacturer currently faces. Specifically, Davis attempted to iron out concerns regarding alleged labor violations, Altoona testing problems, and possible delivery delays for Long Beach Transit (LBT)’s electric bus fleet.
Additionally, Davis even sent out a letter to LBT President and CEO Kenneth McDonald—not even six months into his position—as well as Mayor Bob Foster, the entire City Council, and the entire LBT Board. In it, he sought to “set the record straight” on subjects that BYD & Company “understands why you might be confused” over.
They brought out Supervisor Michael Antonovich, the conservative overseer of the County’s district where Lancaster, the site of an apparent BYD manufacturing facility, is. They brought out the mayor of Lancaster, R. Rex Perris (ah, good ol’ Rex, kinda reminds me of the Mayor of Windsor, Canada, who also sang the praises of BYD bringin’ a manufacturing plant to town only to have a whole choir perform for an empty church).
The irony is not just the fact that they brought out players we’ve heard of before—Rex had a lovely full-page national spread in the Los Angeles Times if you didn’t catch wind of it—but the fact that their message hasn’t really much altered.
In a nutshell, I present to you the press conference: We didn’t violate labor laws; we’ve just been cited for the possibility of having committed them. We have no idea why LBT is expecting delays; we are testing the right bus despite LBT Boardmembers stating otherwise. We find no reason to panic over our Altoona testing; despite cracks in the rear and faulty bracket installation and failed subassemblies, everything is perfectly safe.
Davis failed to mention that BYD has been handed 112 citations, to be exact, by the DIR and the investigation is currently ongoing with the possible determination—to use Davis’s own word—of a $100K fine occurring should the allegations prove true.
Davis was adamant to the point of being redundant about supposed “misinformation on the Internet” and “negative rumors or innuendo, certainly those reported in the newspapers anonymously.”
“I just want to address issues that we believe to be beyond factual dispute and that are capable of being substantiated,” Davis said. “The [State of California Department of Industrial Relations, or DIR] has given citations which are allegations of violations; they are not determinations. And a citation is different than a fine, which some news reporting confused those two words.”
Davis failed to mention that BYD has been handed 112 citations, to be exact, by the DIR and the investigation is currently ongoing with the possible determination—to use Davis’s own word—of a $100K fine occurring should the allegations prove true. Read more…