Ford signed a memorandum of understanding with Anhui Zotye Automobile Co., Ltd., to secure a joint venture for the development, production, marketing, and servicing of a new line of all-electric passenger vehicles in China.
This shared venture between Ford and the manufacturer of zero-emission all-electric vehicles in China was created with the goal of providing customers with affordable and capable electric vehicles, according to Ford. The announcement also reflects Ford’s goal of helping create a more sustainable auto industry and improving air quality.
Vehicles produced would be sold under an indigenous brand owned by the new joint venture with the goal of capturing a sizeable share of China’s all-electric passenger vehicle market.
“The potential to launch a new line of all-electric vehicles in the world’s largest auto market is an exciting next step for Ford in China,” said Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific. “Electric vehicles will be a big part of the future in China and Ford wants to lead in delivering great solutions to customers.”
China is the fastest-growing market in the world for new energy vehicles, according to the automaker. Ford expects the market for new energy vehicles in China to grow to six million units per year by 2025, of which approximately 4 million vehicles will be all-electric.
Zotye Auto is the market leader in China’s all-electric small vehicle segment, according to a release from Ford. Zotye sold more than 16,000 all-electric vehicles through July this year, representing a growth of 56% year-over-year.
Additional details will be announced at a later date, pending a final definitive agreement and regulatory approvals.
As part of its global electrification commitment, Ford has invested $4.5 billion to make electric vehicles that offer customers more capability, productivity and performance. Ford plans to introduce 13 new electrified vehicles globally in the next five years, including an all-electric small SUV to be sold in Asia, North America and Europe. Ford also recently announced a China electrification strategy and confirmed that 70% of all Ford vehicles sold in China will have electrified powertrain options by 2025.
The proposed joint venture would expand Ford’s footprint, following the automakers joint ventures with Changan Ford and Jiangling Motors Corporation.