Ford finalizes Zotye deal to offer ride-hailing EVs, services

Automotive News China

Automotive News | 2018-10-2

Ford Motor Co. signed a definitive agreement with Zotye Automobile Co. to jointly supply electric vehicles and related services to ride-hailing fleet operators and drivers in China. 

A separate joint venture will be formed between Ford¡¯s mobility subsidiary, Ford Smart Mobility, and Zotye to provide ¡°one-stop service¡± for ride-hailing fleet operators and drivers with all-electric vehicle leasing, fleet management solutions, connectivity and in-vehicle services, Ford said. 

The joint venture, capitalized with $20 million (137 million yuan), will be equally owned by Ford Smart Mobility and Zotye. It will be based in Hangzhou, the capital of east China¡¯s Zhejiang province, and its services will initially focus on the ride-hailing market in Zhejiang. 

Zotye¡¯s Z500 will be the first vehicle to be leased to fleet operators and drivers under the new venture. The electric compact sedan can drive for more than 330 kilometers on one change. 

The mobility partnership will also lease EVs to be built by its production joint venture with Zotye, according to Ford.

In November, Ford and Zotye agreed to form a 5 billion yuan EV assembly joint venture. That venture is set to start production in September 2019 in Jinhua in Zhejiang with annual capacity of 100,000 EVs. It will build and market low-priced EVs under its proprietary brand. 

The mobility partnership and production joint ventures between Ford and Zotye must still be approved by regulators in China.

In China, Ford also operates manufacturing joint ventures with Changan Automobile Co. and Jiangling Motors Corp.

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