Ford, Zotye Sign New MoU for EV Ride-Hailing Joint Venture
Ford Smart Mobility and Zotye last month signed a memorandum of understanding that establishes a new 50:50 joint venture focused on all-electric vehicle manufacturing for ride-hailing purposes. The EVs will be built under a new brand and will emphasize style and affordability. The new JV will be headquartered in Zhejiang province, where it will focus on expanding into the rapidly growing “e-hailing” market.
“As people and cities across the world increasingly adopt new mobility services, we also need to work together to ensure these services are solving key issues such as accessibility and air quality versus adding to them,” said Marcy Klevorn, executive vice president and president of mobility, Ford Motor Company. “By providing smart-enabled electric vehicles for the ride-hailing market, this new mobility joint venture will be a key part of the solution for China’s cities.”
In December, Ford and Zotye finalized an agreement to establish Zotye Ford Automobile, a JV that will among other things result in the establishment of a manufacturing facility and dedicated research and development center. Both Ford-Zotye JVs will work in conjunction on the development and production of the new EVs — the mobility arm, in addition to R&D and manufacturing, will provide fleet operators and fleet management solutions for the final product.
“Last year, our two companies agreed to explore mobility services together to solve emerging transportation challenges for Chinese customers,” said Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific. “With today’s announcement, this takes us one step further to offering smart services, connected electric vehicles, and data-driven solutions to make China’s urban centers cleaner and journeys more efficient and enjoyable.”
The new JV will work with local governments to develop smart mobility solutions. This includes data and software aimed at cutting down on congestion, improving the experience for commuters, and proliferating the application of V2X and autonomous vehicle technologies.
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