Ford Cancels EV Joint Venture With China’s Zotye

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By Matt Posky on February 4, 2021

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Image: Ford Motor Co.

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Ford Motor Co. has decided against its plan to launch an electric vehicle joint venture with China’s Zotye Automobile. The American manufacturer confirmed the decision on Thursday, stating that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had made sweeping changes to its policies since the deal was initially agreed to in 2017.

Few specifics were given beyond that and Ford hasn’t indicated the move might suggest a retreat from the one-party socialist republic. Ford recently confirmed its plan to build Chinese versions of the all-electric Mustang Mach-E with Chongqing Changan Automobile Co. and maintains numerous joint ventures necessary to continue doing business inside Central Asia.

However, the American company did suggest that future dealings in The People’s Republic of China would take into account a more “flexible business model.” This is likely a response to the uncertain economic climate and possibly the sporadic way the CCP has handled its promotion of green vehicles. But Chinese officials remain adamant that the EV adoption rate will explode over the next five years, even if it has to be repeatedly engineered by the government.

It’s something we’ve covered before — if you’re interested.

The product evolution will not include the Ford-Zotye partnership, however. Their planned $756 million (combined) for the development and production of extra-small EVs will be utilized elsewhere. Perhaps the savings can help Zotye (and HAAH Automotive Holdings) break into the North American market with the T600 by the planned 2020 target date…

Oh. Right.

[Image: Ford Motor Co.]

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