This national movement is now bolstered by a new partnership between Ford and Chinese automaker Zotye.
Continuing its quest to expand in China, Ford Motor Co. announced on Wednesday it has formed a joint venture with electric-vehicle giant Anhui Zotye Automobile Co in a deal worth $756 million. Since the vehicles are manufactured locally in China and exist under a Chinese brand, this partnership eliminates the large import duty that would exist if they were manufactured overseas or by Western companies locally. It will also establish a new dedicated sales and service network. The joint venture will also explore new ownership models such as vehicle sharing and auto pooling.
A joint-venture with Zotye will mark Ford's third partnership in China. Ford already operates successful vehicle joint ventures with Changan Ford Automobile Corporation, Ltd. and Jiangling Motors Corporation. Ford better keep an eye on its new friend. It also said the government will initiate a pilot program before June 2018 that will relax foreign firms' ownership restrictions for new energy and special use vehicle businesses established in free trade zones.
China is the world's largest electric-vehicle market, and Zotye is the nation's largest electric- vehicle manufacturer. It sold more than 22,500 all-electric vehicles in the first 10 months this year, up 14 percent year-on-year.
Ford had pledged in the past that it needs at least 70 percent of its Chinese sales to be electrified by 2025, and this puts Ford on the right path to achieve that goal.
Ford and Zotye are also said to be working on mobility solutions in China, expanding on Dearborn's efforts here at home.
Happy faces: Peter Fleet, Ford vice president and president for Ford Asia Pacific, and Ying Jianren, board member of Zotye Auto. Ford sold more than six million across the country past year.