Mr. Peter Fleet, group vice president and president, Asia Pacific, Ford Motor Company and Mr. Jin Zheyong, chairman and president, Anhui Zotye Automobile Co., Ltd.

Ford Motor and China-based Anhui Zotye Automobile have inked a deal to invest US$756mn in a 50:50 joint venture to build electric cars in China. We have reported previously about the venture in this report.

Zotye is in the car business and builds cars styled on popular European models – especially Volkswagen Group and Daimler vehicles.

The new entity will be known as Zotye Ford Automobile Co,which will focus on building a range of “stylish and affordable” electric vehicles for consumers in China.

Zotye is said to be the market leader in China’s all-electric small vehicle segment with sales of 22,500 vehicles this year through the end of October.

It seems that Zotye’s immense market presence in China motivated Ford to approach them despite intellectual property concerns which Ford has overlooked.

Both companies will design, develop and manufacture together a new line of vehicles sold under a local brand name.

The high profile deal was signed during US President Donald Trump’s visit to China as the two countries inked commercial deals worth about $9 billion. In addition to the new venture, Ford and Zotye will also explore mobility services for consumers in China as local demand for such solutions continues to grow.

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