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Ford and Zotye ink electric car deal

By Li Fusheng | | Updated: 2017-11-09 10:48

Ford Motor Company inked a definitive deal on Wednesday to partner with Chinese carmaker Zotye Auto to produce electric cars in China, the world's largest car market.

Under the 50/50 partnership, Zotye Ford Automobile Co will develop, produce and sell a range of affordable all-electric vehicles for consumers in China under a new brand, according to a Ford news release.

The joint venture will build a plant, located in Zhejiang province, and establish its own research and development center.

The 5 billion yuan ($754.4 million) deal, which ca

me after a memorandum the two signed in August, is a key step by Ford towards its vision of a cleaner, more environmentally-sustainable future.

The US carmaker announced earlier this year at least 70 percent of Ford-branded vehicles sold in China will offer electrified powertrain options by 2025.

"We will be exploring innovative vehicle connectivity and mobility service solutions for a new generation of young city-dwelling Chinese customers," said Ford's Vice-President Peter Fleet.

Ford and Zotye will explore offering mobility services to consumers in China as local demand for such solutions continues to grow.

Zotye Auto is a market leader of small electric cars. It sold more than 22,500 all-electric vehicles in the first 10 months this year, up 14 percent year-on-year.

The joint venture will benefit from Zotye's expertise in designing and commercializing EVs in China and Ford's global product development and technology capabilities.

"This is an important day for Zotye as we partner with Ford to help advance the growth of the Chinese auto industry," said Ying Jianren, Zotye's board director.

Ford already has two car making joint ventures with Changan Automobile and Jiangling Motors Corporation.

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