Ford Motor and China’s Anhui Zotye Automobile are going to make an investment of combined $756 million to establish a 50-50 joint venture in China to build electric passenger vehicles, both companies stated on Wednesday.
The new joint venture, Zotye Ford Automobile, plans to construct a factory in Zhejiang province and will sell all-electric vehicles under a new Chinese brand, taking advantage of a boom for such vehicles in the world’s top vehicle market, Ford Motor stated.
“Zotye Ford will present a new brand family of small all-electric vehicles,” Ford group vice president Peter Fleet stated. “We will be checking out innovative vehicle connectivity and mobility service solutions for a new generation of young city-dwelling Chinese consumers.”
The JV deal was signed during Donald Trump’s visit to China as the two nation signed commercial deals worth about $9 billion.
In addition to the new JV, Ford and Zotye will check out offering mobility services to customers in China as regional demand for such services continues to grow, Ford’s statement added.
China, battling with alarming pollution levels in major cities, is strongly pushing plug-in vehicles and has poured in tens of billions of yuan in investment, research financing and subsidies, drawing lots of new automakers to introduce projects.