Ford, Zotye Finalize JV to Build EVs in China
Ford Motor Co. and Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. have formed a 50:50 joint venture that will build and sell small electric vehicles in China.
The partners are investing a combined 5 billion yuan ($756 million) in the venture, which will be called Zotye Ford Automobile Co. The companies signed a preliminary development agreement in August.
The investment will go toward building a manufacturing plant in China’s Zhejiang province. Zotye Ford also plans to open a research and development center and establish a network of sales and services centers. The vehicles will be sold under a new unspecified brand.
Ford and Zotye say they also are exploring offering mobility services in China. In addition to Zotye, Ford has joint ventures in China with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Jiangling Motors Corp.
Ford expects sales of so-called “new energy vehicles” in China will grow to six million units per year by 2025, of which about 4 million vehicles are forecast to be all-electric models.
By that time Ford anticipates 70% of its vehicle lineup in China will be electrified, starting with a plug-in hybrid version of its Mondeo sedan next year and an all-electric small SUV early next decade. Those vehicles will be produced in collaboration with Chongqing Automobile.
The historic plant has built—and is building—a lot of cars in its 70-year run of commercial vehicle production. Today, with the e-Golf and the GTE, it is making what are arguably the most-advanced Volkswagens out there.
Chinese electric-car startup Nio Inc. is forming a manufacturing joint venture with Beijing E-Town International Investment and Development Co., which is investing 10 billion yuan ($1.5 billion) in the business.
The Tesla Model 3 is certainly one of the most controversial cars to be launched in some time, with production models (a comparative handful, admittedly) presented on a stage with a throng of people treating it like it was an event with Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, all at the same time.