Ford has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Anhui Zotye Automobile Co., Ltd., a major manufacturer of zero-emission all-electric vehicles in China.
The goal of the MoU is to explore the establishment of a joint venture for the development, production, marketing and servicing of a new line of all-electric passenger vehicles in China.
China is the fastest-growing market in the world for new energy vehicles (NEVs). Ford expects the market for NEVs 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 a pioneer in the Chinese all-electric vehicle segment and was one of the first automakers to produce all-electric passenger vehicles in the country. It is the market leader in China’s all-electric small vehicle segment. Zotye sold more than 16,000 all-electric vehicles through July this year, representing a growth of 56 percent year-over-year.
Vehicles produced would be sold under an indigenous brand owned by the new joint venture. Additional details, including information about the brand, products and production volumes, will be announced later.
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.
The new 50:50 joint venture would be a major step forward in building on Ford’s electrification initiatives and will significantly expand Ford’s footprint in China, along with the company’s successful joint ventures, Changan Ford and Jiangling Motors Corporation.