Ford Motor Co. and Chinese automaker Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. announced on Tuesday that they intend to establish a join venture to manufacture and develop electric cars in China under a new brand. Electric cars are quickly increasing in popularity worldwide, making this a particularly lucrative move for both companies.
In a joint statement, the companies said, “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.” They added, “The new 50:50 joint venture would be a major step forward in building on Ford’s electrification initiatives and will significantly expand Ford’s footprint in China, along with the company’s successful joint ventures, Changan Ford and Jiangling Motors Corporation.”
Ford has said previously that it intends to offer electric versions of about 70% of its existing models in China by 2025.
Zoyote is the current leader in China’s quickly-growing all-electric small vehicle segment. As of July, the privately-owned company’s 2017 all-electric vehicle sales totalled 16,000 units, achieving growth of 56% year-over-year. It’s a great potential partner for Ford, whose sales in China have been falling: they’re down 7% so far this year. Combining an automotive giant like Ford and an innovative, China-based company like Zoyote is a solid strategy that will give both companies a serious edge in the increasingly-competitive electric vehicles market. Ford has said that it expects the Chinese market for all-electric and hybrid-electric cars to achieve annual sales of 6 million by 2025, making now a perfect time for Ford to enter this joint venture.
Electric vehicles are quickly becoming the most preferred in China, with sales of gasoline-electric hybrids and purely electric vehicles seeing a rise of nearly 50% last year from 2015. In fact, China is currently the top country in the world for electric vehicles sales. In addition to Ford, other major US- and Europe-based automotive manufacturers have established, or intend to establish, manufacturing operations in China for electric vehicles. These include General Motors, Volvo Cars, Volkswagen AG, and Nissan Motor Co..
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