Ford Motor and China’s Anhui Zotye Automobile will invest a combined $756 million to set up a 50-50 joint venture in China to build electric passenger vehicles. Zotye Ford also plans to build a new manufacturing plant in Zhejiang Province.
The new JV is aimed at expanding Ford’s footprint in China and builds upon the company’s ambitious China electrification strategy. The new JV. Ford announced earlier this year that at least 70 percent of Ford-branded vehicles sold in the country will offer electrified powertrain options by 2025. Ford already operates successful vehicle joint ventures with Changan Ford Automobile Corporation, Ltd. and Jiangling Motors Corporation. In addition to the new JV, Ford and Zotye will explore offering mobility services to consumers in China as local demand for such solutions continues to grow.
China has come forth world’s leading electric vehicle market and thus every automaker is trying to enter the Chinese market. Recently, Tesla announced that it has entered into an agreement with Shanghai government to open a manufacturing facility in the trade-free zone of the city. The agreement allows Tesla to own an entire factory instead of getting into partnership with any local manufacturer.
GM has also announced that the company will start production of a pure-electric model in China within two years. There were also reports that Toyota may begin mass manufacturing of electric vehicles (EVs) in China as early as 2019. Another automaker Daimler along with the Chinese BAIC is jointly investing five billion RMB in electric vehicles in the country. There are other auto manufacturers global and local that are trying to get their share in the expanding electric vehicle market in the country.
The country is persuing an agressive strategy to push electric vehicles, it has set a goal of 3 million domestic EV sales by 2025.