Ford has entered a joint venture with Chinese manufacturer Zotye to create a new China-only brand producing electric vehicles (EVs).
The £575 million joint venture, which will create an all-new brand for the Chinese market, has equal investment and equity from both brands.
Zotye is infamous for its copy of the Porsche Macan, but will work with Ford in the new joint venture on a range of small EVs.
Ford says that Zotye, with 22,500 EV sales in China so far this year, is the market leader in the area, with growth of 14% year-on-year. Zotye’s input will be globally beneficial to Ford, which has few electrified vehicles currently in its line-up yet plans to electrify 70% of its range in China by 2025.
No comment has been offered on targets for global electrification, but Ford has revealed that products outside of China will benefit from the joint venture.
Zotye director Ying Jianren said: “This is an important day for Zotye as we partner with Ford to help advance the growth of the Chinese automotive industry. We will work closely together to help meet Chinese consumers’ growing demand for electric vehicles.”
Ford’s Asia boss, Peter Fleet, said: “We are delighted to have signed this joint venture agreement with Zotye to form our third joint venture automotive company in China. Subject to regulatory approval, Zotye-Ford will introduce a new brand family of small all-electric vehicles.”
Fleet also suggested that the joint brand will explore offering mobility solutions and new connectivity technologies as demand for them grows.