Ford Smart Mobility and Zotye Auto signed an agreement to establish a new 50/50 joint venture (JV) that will focus on providing smart, customized all-electric vehicle solutions to fleet operators and drivers in China’s fast-growing ride-hailing market, the companies announced.
Ford Smart Mobility and Zotye Auto signed an agreement to establish a new 50:50 JV that will focus on providing smart, customized all-electric vehicle solutions to fleet operators and drivers in China’s fast-growing ride-hailing market. Ford Smart Mobility LLC is a Ford Motor Company subsidiary formed to design, build, grow and invest in emerging mobility services.
Many operators in China’s ride-hailing market are looking to expand their fleets with electric vehicles. According to Boston Consulting Group, the local ‘e-hailing’ market is expected to grow by 19 percent annually through 2022, with an overall fleet size potentially reaching up to 26 million.
The new mobility JV will work closely with the Zotye-Ford manufacturing JV, which will build a range of stylish and affordable all-electric vehicles for consumers in China under a new indigenous brand, pending regulatory approval.
The Zotye-Ford mobility JV will provide ride-hailing fleet operators and drivers with all-electric vehicle leasing services, data-driven fleet management solutions, in-vehicle digital services, connectivity and vehicle customization.
The new JV will be located in Zhejiang province and initially focus on the ride-hailing market in Zhejiang, with plans to soon expand to other provinces. It will have registered capital of US$20 million, with each company contributing 50 percent.
Zotye is one of the leading brands in China’s all-electric small vehicle segment and was one of the first automakers to produce all-electric passenger vehicles in the country. The company sold around 36,000 all-electric vehicles in 2017.
As part of Ford’s commitment to building smart vehicles for a smart world, and to pave the way for a future of V2X and autonomous vehicles, the new JV will also engage with local governments and cities to support the development of integrated transportation solutions covering data connectivity and software systems to improve traffic flow, reduce congestion and enhance the commuter experience.
Ford plans to offer more than 50 new Ford and Lincoln vehicles in China by 2025.
The expanded product portfolio will reflect an even stronger emphasis on SUVs – with eight all-new utilities, along with more electric vehicles.
The company will launch at least 15 new electrified vehicles from Ford and Lincoln. And the new Zotye-Ford joint venture will deliver a separate range of affordable all-electric under a new brand, pending regulatory approvals.