The JV agreement was signed in Beijing by Peter Fleet, president, Ford Asia Pacific, and Ying Jianren, chairman of Tech-New Group and board director of Zotye Auto

The JV agreement was signed in Beijing by Peter Fleet, president, Ford Asia Pacific, and Ying Jianren, chairman of Tech-New Group and board director of Zotye Auto

Ford and Zotye have signed a definitive joint venture agreement to establish Zotye Ford Automobile, a new 50/50 joint venture to offer a range of "stylish and affordable" electric vehicles in China under a new local brand.

The agreement was signed in Beijing on Wednesday (8 November) by Peter Fleet, president of Ford Asia Pacific, and Ying Jianren, chairman of Tech-New Group and board director of Zotye Auto.

Pending regulatory approval, the new JV will design, build, market and distribute all electric passenger vehicles for China, the world's leading electric vehicle market. The JV will have a combined investment of CNY5bn (US$756m).

Ford announced earlier this year that at least 70% of its own brand vehicles sold in China would offer electrified powertrain options by 2025.

Zotye Ford plans to build a dedicated product research and development centre as well as its own sales and services network. A new manufacturing plant will be constructed in Zhejiang Province. The EVs produced by the JV will be sold under a new Chinese brand designed to meet Chinese consumers' aspirations for electric vehicles.

"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 said. "We will be exploring innovative vehicle connectivity and mobility service solutions for a new generation of young city dwelling Chinese customers."

The partners also will consider offering mobility services in China as local demand continues to grow.

Zotye Auto is a pioneer and market leader in China's all electric small vehicle segment and sold more than 22,500 vehicles year to date to the end of October, up 14% year on year.

Ford operates vehicle joint ventures with Changan Ford Automobile (passenger cars) and Jiangling Motors (light commercials). These JV partners will continue to develop and manufacture New Energy Vehicles to meet rising consumer demand in China during the impending electrification phase of the local auto industry.

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