Ford enters into agreement to produce all-electric vehicles in China

Ford Motor Co. recently entered into an agreement with Zotye Auto to establish Zotye Ford Automobile Co., with the goal of designing, building, marketing, and distributing all-electric vehicles for Chinese consumers.

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The new auto company will be a 50:50 joint venture with a combined investment of $756 million.

China is the world’s largest electric-vehicle market, and Zotye is the nation’s largest electric- vehicle manufacturer. In the first 10 months of the year, Zotye sold 22,500 vehicles, a more than 14 percent year-over-year increase.

The agreement is part of Ford’s strategy to offer electrified powertrain options on a minimum of 70 percent of Ford-branded vehicles sold in China by 2025.

Zotye Ford will have a manufacturing facility based in Zhejiang Province. It also will establish a product research and development center and will operate a sales and services network.

“We are delighted to have signed this joint venture agreement with Zotye to form our third joint venture automotive company in China,” Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president of Ford Asia Pacific, said. “Zotye Ford will introduce a new brand family of small all-electric vehicles. We will be exploring innovative vehicle connectivity and mobility service solutions for a new generation of young city-dwelling Chinese customers.”

The deal is pending regulatory approval.