Ford Motor Co. is preparing to set up a joint venture with Chinese automaker Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. to manufacture all-electric vehicles for China.
The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding Tuesday to explore a 50-50 joint venture to produce, market and service a new line of EVs, officials said. Any vehicles would be sold under an indigenous brand. Ford said it would unveil more details about the brand name and products later.
"The potential to launch a new line of all-electric vehicles in the world's largest auto market is an exciting next step for Ford in China," Peter Fleet, Ford group vice president and president, Ford Asia Pacific, said in a statement. "Electric vehicles will be a big part of the future in China and Ford wants to lead in delivering great solutions to customers."
Zotye has sold more than 16,000 all-electric vehicles through July this year, representing 56 percent growth year-over-year.
Ford has been bullish on electrification in China. It expects the market will grow to 6 million vehicles annually by 2025. Of that, 4 million per year will be all-electric.
This year, Ford vowed to electrify 70 percent of its Chinese lineup by 2025.
Ford is already part of two joint ventures in China: Changan Ford for passenger vehicles and Jiangling Motors Corp. for commercial vehicles.
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. It has announced seven of those vehicles, including a hybrid Mustang, a hybrid F-150 and an all-electric small SUV with a range of 300 miles.