Ford Motor Co said yesterday that it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Chinese car manufacturer Anhui Zotye Automobile Co to establish a joint venture to produce electric vehicles.
The new 50-50 joint venture will develop, make, market and service electric passenger autos in China.
Vehicles will be sold under an indigenous brand owned by the new joint venture, according to a statement published by Ford yesterday.
"This is an opportunity to leverage each other's strengths in achieving a win-win situation for both parties' growth in the fast-growing Chinese electric vehicle market," said Jin Zheyong, chairman of Zhejiang-based Anhui Zotye Automobile Co.
The joint venture marks a major step for Ford's electrification initiatives in China. Earlier this year, Ford said that 70 percent of its vehicles sold in China will have electrified powertrain options by 2025.
China is the fastest-growing market in the world for new energy vehicles. In the first seven months of this year, sales of electric vehicles hit 204,000 units, up 33.6 percent year on year, according to data from the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers.
Ford expects the market for new-energy vehicles in China to grow to six million units annually by 2025, of which around 4 million vehicles will be all-electric.
"Electric vehicles will be a big part of the future in China," said Peter Fleet, CEO of Ford China. "Within the next four years, we plan to bring an all new small battery electric vehicle to China."