Ford has announced plans to sign up to a joint venture aimed at developing electric vehicles for the Chinese market.
The electric vehicles (EVs) would be sold under a new brand in China following a new joint venture with Anhui Zotye Automobile Co., a Chinese brand that specializes in all-electric vehicles.
Hartford Business reports that Ford and Zotye are exploring a 50:50 partnership as the Chinese government continues to champion the vehicles as a means of reducing their ongoing urban pollution problems. Beijing is offering incentives to encourage the sale of cleaner cars.
Zotye, which does not produce gas or diesel cars, sold more than 16,000 electric vehicles through July this year -- a 56 per cent increase from the same period in 2016.
Bill Russo, managing director at Gao Feng Advisory Company, said Ford is the first global automaker to partner with a local firm that exclusively produces electric cars.
"Multinationals have been playing a bit of wait and see in China," he said. "Now, Ford is convinced they need to be in the game."
China is proving to be an attractive market for clean car development at the moment.
General Motors in a joint venture with SAIC and Wuling Motors started selling a tiny electric car in China that costs about $5,300 after national and local electric vehicle incentives.
Earlier this summer, Volkswagen finalized a joint venture with Anhui Jianghuai Automobile (JAC Motor) to produce electric vehicles.