Automakers to form a joint venture
Ford and Zotye Auto have agreed to establish a joint venture focused on making affordable electric vehicles for China. The automakers are investing a combined 5 billion RMB, or approximately $756 million USD, in the new business.
The move will give Ford a better foothold in the world’s largest market for EVs. The country is moving toward electrification in an effort to curb pollution. By 2025, Ford hopes that at least 70 percent of its namesake brand vehicles in China will offer electrified powertrain options.
Named Zotye Ford Automobile, the joint venture will build a new manufacturing plant in the Zhejiang Province of eastern China. “Subject to regulatory approval, Zotye Ford will introduce a new brand family of small all-electric vehicles,” Peter Fleet, head of Ford Asia Pacific, said in a press release.
The JV will establish its own sales and service network. Meanwhile, it will build a dedicated R&D center. In addition to these undertakings, the companies will look into providing mobility services for people who live in the cities.
The joint venture will leverage the unique strengths of each automaker. Having sold more than 22,500 EVs in China during the first 10 months of the year, Zotye knows how to bring small all-electric vehicles to market in the region. Meanwhile, Ford contributes its expertise in product development and advanced technologies. Globally, Ford has invested $4.5 billion USD in electric vehicle technologies and is adding 13 electrified vehicles to its lineup.