Ford and Zotye have big plans for electric cars.
Ford has joined forces with Zotye Auto, a Chinese automaker, to establish a new line of electric vehicles exclusive to Chinese consumers.
The $750 million joint venture, called Zotye Ford Automobile Co., will work to develop and manufacture a new line of all-electric vehicles. Other projects in the works include a new research and development facility, a dedicated service network., and new mobility services which may include ridesharing and small personal electric vehicle production, albeit not yet confirmed. Both Ford and Zotye each own a 50 percent stake.
“We are delighted to have signed this joint venture agreement with Zotye to form our third joint venture automotive company in China. Subject to regulatory approval, Zotye Ford will introduce a new brand family of small all-electric vehicles,” said Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president of Ford Asia Pacific. “We will be exploring innovative vehicle connectivity and mobility service solutions for a new generation of young city-dwelling Chinese customers.”
With the Chinese all-electric and hybrid market expected to exceed 6 million in annual sales by 2025, and China responsible for 40 percent of global EV sales, this represents a push by Ford to achieve a higher market share in the region.
Also, this venture allows Ford to maneuver around China’s outrageous 25 percent tax on imported vehicles.
Ford continues its torrid run securing partnerships in China, currently venturing with Changan Ford Automobile Corporation, Ltd. and Jiangling Motors Corporation. Other automakers, such as Daimler AG and Volvo, have also partnered with Chinese automakers pursuing similar ventures.
Established in 2005, Zotye Auto leads China in all-electric vehicle production with more than 225,000 sold vehicles to date and 14 percent year over year growth. Formerly an exporter of automotive parts, the company expanded to vehicle production with its first model, the Nomad, a small SUV, and the M300, a minivan.