Ford Nears Joint Venture With Chinese EV Automaker Anhui Zotye Automobile
Ford Motor Company on Tuesday announced that it has reached a Memorandum of Understanding with Chinese electric vehicle manufacturer Anhui Zotye Automobile Co., Ltd. The purpose of this MoU is to facilitate the possibility of a joint venture between Ford and Zotye Auto with the intention of co-developing and -producing zero-emissions passenger vehicles for sale in China.
“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.”
Ford expects that the number of new energy vehicles (NEVs: hybrid, electric, hydrogen, etc.) will exceed six million units a year by 2025, and that two-thirds of that immense number will be electric vehicles. As such, the partnership with Zotye Auto is a logical choice: it was among the first companies to produce an all-electric passenger vehicle for China and is the current market leader for small electric vehicles.
Zotye’s sales through July are in excess of 16,000 electric vehicles, which is up 56% year-over-year from sales through the first seven months of 2016.
“The MoU between Zotye Auto and Ford opens the door for us to explore our cooperation in the development of clean energy vehicles,” said Jin ZheYong, chairman and president, Anhui Zotye Automobile Co., Ltd. “This presents us with an exciting opportunity to leverage each other’s strengths in achieving a win-win situation for both parties’ growth in the fast-evolving Chinese electric vehicle market.”
More details regarding the MoU and the possible joint venture will be announced after a final agreement is reached and regulatory approvals are provided.