Ford Motor Company and Zotye have reached a definitive agreement to establish Zotye Ford Automobile Co., Ltd., a new 50/50 joint venture that will offer a range of battery-electric vehicles for consumers in China under a new indigenous brand, Ford announced.
The agreement was signed in Beijing by Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific, and Ying Jianren, chairman of Tech-New Group Ltd. and board director of Zotye Auto.
Pending regulatory approval, the new joint venture will design, build, market, and distribute all-electric passenger vehicles for China, the world’s leading electric vehicle market. The establishment of the joint venture is a key step by Ford towards realizing its vision of a cleaner, more environmentally-sustainable future.
The new joint venture will leverage a combined investment of approximately $756 million.
Building upon Ford’s ambitious China electrification strategy, the company announced earlier this year that at least 70% of Ford-branded vehicles sold in the country will offer electrified powertrain options by 2025.
Zotye Ford plans to build a dedicated product research and development center as well as its own sales and services network.
A new manufacturing plant for the joint venture will be constructed in Zhejiang Province. The all-electric vehicles produced will be sold under a new Chinese brand designed to meet Chinese consumers’ aspirations for electric vehicles.
Ford and Zotye will also explore offering mobility services to consumers in China as local demand for such solutions continues to grow.
Ford already operates successful vehicle joint ventures with Changan Ford Automobile Corporation, Ltd. and Jiangling Motors Corporation. The automaker will continue working closely with its joint venture partners to develop and manufacture New Energy Vehicles to meet rising consumer demand in China during the impending electrification phase of the Chinese auto industry.