Ford Motor Company has announced plans to form a joint-venture with Chinese automaker Anhui Zotye Automobile Co. The partnership will focus on the production and distribution of a new lineup of small electric vehicles under an all-new brand.
Ford and Zotye say they will be investing 5 billion yuan ($756 million) into the new venture, which will include a new assembly plant in Zhejiang province to produce the new products. Details as to when the vehicles will hit the market have not been released by either company, but their proposed deal will require regulatory approval by Chinese officials first.
Peter Fleet, Ford’s Asia-Pacific president, will be meeting with President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping later this week to discuss the deal. As part of the deal, Ford says they are planning to export $10 billion worth of components and vehicles from the U.S. to China over the next three years, a figure that is likely to grab the attention of U.S. officials.
A joint-venture with Zotye will mark Ford’s third partnership in China. The U.S. automaker is already partnered with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and Jiangling Motors Corp. Between the three partnerships, Ford says it plans for 70 percent of its vehicles sold in China by 2025 to be electrified.
Like most automakers, Ford is accelerating its investments into electrified vehicles to meet upcoming emissions requirements in major markets, including China. China is implementing a cap-and-trade framework next year that will penalize companies that don’t meet fleet-based limits.