Ford hooking up with Chinese EV carmaker for JV image

The Blue Oval company is looking to solidify its presence in China – and has set up a Memorandum of Understanding for a 50/50 joint venture partnership with a reputable EV manufacturer.

While FCA is being courted by Chinese automakers, Ford is taking fast steps to assure its presence on the world’s largest auto market in a crucial sector – green cars. The American company has just signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Anhui Zotye Automobile Co., Ltd., an important producer of zero-emission vehicles based out of China. The companies want to set up a 50/50 joint venture for the development and marketing of a new series of electric cars. Anhui Zotye is one of the first carmakers in the region to build all-electric passenger vehicles, with sales jumping 56 percent this year compared to the same period through July 2016.

The newly developed vehicles would not be sold as Ford – but instead come with a new nameplate, but more details about the new brand would be presented at a later date, according to the US automaker. “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.” New energy vehicles – as the segment is called in China – are expected to jump to six million autos a year by 2025.