Ford: We’ll Build Electric Cars in China Soon

About Ford’s new EV partner: Zotye Auto

Zotye Auto is a privately held automaker headquartered in Huangshan City, about 300 miles west of Shanghai. It’s pretty small: Zotye sold about 323,000 vehicles in 2016, according to JATO Dynamics. (For comparison, Ford shipped about 6.7 million vehicles in 2016.)

To the extent that Zotye Auto was known at all outside of China before its association with Ford, it was because of its SR9 model, an inexpensive SUV that looks a lot (and I mean a whole lot) like a Porsche Macan. But in addition to the SR9 and Zotye’s other internal-combustion SUVs, the company has had some recent success with small, affordable electric vehicles. Its E200, a tiny two-seater, has done fairly well in smoggy Beijing, where internal-combustion vehicles are restricted due to air-quality concerns.

A blue and white Zotye E200, a very small two-seat car.

Ford has characterized Zotye Auto as the market leader in China’s “all-electric small vehicle segment.” It has sold more than 22,500 all-electric vehicles in China this year through October. (That may not sound like a lot, but consider: General Motors sold just over 17,000 Chevrolet Bolt EVs in the U.S. over the same period.)

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