Ford to Launch a Ride-Hailing Car Brand in China

New Ford JV in China to focus on ride-hailing 1 photo
Photo: Inside Retail Hong Kong
In a move meant to tap into the market segment spearheaded by Uber and other companies like it, Ford announced last week the launch of a range of solutions for the ride-hailing services activating in China.
Together with local partner Zotye, Ford will also create a fleet of customized all-electric vehicles that will be made available to both companies and drivers in this segment. The cars for this project will be manufactured the Zotye-Ford joint facility, under a new, China-only brand.
The money to be invested at first by the two companies into the new joint venture is estimated at $20 million.

In the first phase of the project, the electric cars will be made available in Zhejiang province. For now, there are no details available on what exactly these cars will be. Ford only said the new brand is currently pending regulatory approval.

“As people and cities across the world increasingly adopt new mobility services, we also need to work together to ensure these services are solving key issues such as accessibility and air quality versus adding to them,” said Marcy Klevorn, Ford president of mobility.

“By providing smart-enabled electric vehicles for the ride-hailing market, this new mobility joint venture will be a key part of the solution for China’s cities.”

Aside from the vehicles themselves, the new joint venture would also seek to develop leasing services, data-driven fleet management solutions, in-vehicle digital services, connectivity and vehicle customization.

The decision Ford made this week comes as a result of various studies showing how much the ride-hailing market will expand locally over the next few years.

According to Ford, the market is expected to grow by 19 percent annually through 2022. That would mean that the number of potential cars dedicated to this service will probably reach 26 million, including both full-time and part-time ride-hailing.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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