Ford Motor Company announced their intent to form a joint venture with Anhui Zotye Automobile Co., a Chinese brand that specializes in all-electric vehicles in order to help the company make headway in the electric car market.
The companies are looking at a 50/50 split to create a new line of electric vehicles to be sold under an as-yet-to-be-named brand.
The decision comes as the Chinese government pushed for an increase in electric vehicles to help the country reduce pollution affecting cities with some, such as Beijing, offering incentives to entice auto buyers to make the switch.
Currently, China is responsible for close to half of all electric cars sold worldwide based on information from the International Energy Agency. Zotye, which only produces electric vehicles, sold over 16,000 electric vehicles through July 2017 – a year-over growth of 56%.
According to managing director at Gao Feng Advisory Company, Ford is the first international automaker to partner with the company. And while that may be the case, Ford isn’t the first player to turn eyes – and vehicles – on the Chinese market. This month, General Motors (GM) began offering the Baojun E100, a small electric car at a price of just $5,300 after incentives. The car is made in China as part of a joint effort between GM and China’s SAIC and Wuling Motors.
Two months ago, Volkswagen (VLKAF) completed negotiations for a joint venture with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC Motor) to produce electric vehicles.