I'm on jury duty and out of pocket for much of the day. Two important local business stories so far this morning:
Chinese automaker comes to L.A.: The electronic car company BYD, or Build Your Dreams, will announce its first U.S. headquarters in the Figueroa auto corridor near Staples Center. Part-owned by Warren Buffett's MidAmerican Energy Holdings, BYD plans to introduce its e6 model in China and the U.S. this year. From the WSJ:
Getting the company to settle in Los Angeles took significant effort by the city. Austin Beutner, a former Wall Street executive who this year was named the city's chief economic officer, said that to entice BYD, Los Angeles agreed to purchase some of the company's electric vehicles and conduct a pilot test of some of its electric buses. The city also agreed to streamline the approval process for installing electric charging stations in parking garages and established a policy that would put permits for home electric-vehicle charging stations on a fast track.
Anthem withdraws rate hike: The Woodland Hills-based insurer finally pulled its controversial plan to increase rates by as much as 39 percent after state regulators said it was "seriously flawed." From the LAT:
The move came after a consultant to state regulators found that Anthem overstated future medical costs used to justify increases averaging 25% for many of the company's 800,000 customers with individual policies. Correcting the flaws could drop the rate hikes to an average of 15%, the outside analyst said in a report.