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Published: Wed, August 23, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Ford, China's Zotye Auto plan JV to build electric vehicles

Ford, China's Zotye Auto plan JV to build electric vehicles

Anhui Zotye Automobile is a big manufacturer of zero-emission all-electric vehicles in China, and the firms are discussing forming a joint venture to sell electric cars in China, under a brand owned by the joint venture. It sold 16,000 electric vehicles in the year to the end of July, up 56pc year on year.

The company announced plans on Tuesday to form a new joint venture with Anhui Zotye Automobile Co., a Chinese brand that specializes in all-electric vehicles.

China is the fastest-growing market in the world for new energy vehicles.

Zotye is described by Ford as the "market leader" in Chinese electric-vehicle sales.

China already accounts for 40% of all electric cars sold worldwide, according to the International Energy Agency.

That's motivating a lot of automakers to invest in electric vehicles in China in order to keep their access to the world's largest automotive market and Ford is the latest example.

A Ford spokesman said the company hoped to reach an agreement with Zotye by the end of the year. The company's new CEO, Jim Hackett, hails from the company's Smart Mobility unit and has publically said the company wants to produce more electric cars. Further details on the joint venture will be released at a later date, pending final negotiations and regulator approval.

New auto sales in China are much higher than in the USA: the seasonally adjusted annual rate of sales for the U.S.in July was about 16.7 million units; in China the rate was 24 million.

Globally, Ford is in the midst of a $4.5 billion investment in electrification that will result in 13 new electrified vehicles in the next five years. In April, it outlined plans to offer by 2025 hybrid or fully electric versions of all models built in China with its domestic joint venture partner, Chongqing Changan Automobile Co Ltd.

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