Ford mulls building electric vehicles in China

Ford Motor Co. is making strides toward possibly building electric vehicles with its joint venture partner in China.

At a recent Ford Chinese transmission assembly plant groundbreaking ceremony, Ford’s CEO Alan R. Mulally indicated the blue oval brand is now mulling its options.

“As we move to more electrification, you’re going to see more hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric” cars, said Mulally, 66, in a Bloomberg Television interview on Sept. 24 in Chongqing, China.

If Ford does decide to collaborate with its Chinese government-controlled JV partner, it will be following in the footsteps of General Motors and Daimler AG, which have already committed to building Chinese-branded EVs for the Chinese and neighboring markets.

As further reported by the Truth About Cars, if Ford proceeds as GM did, it will also appear to have contradicted recent statements made to the Detroit News denying intentions to design and manufacture Chinese EVs.

In response to one of several inflammatory letters from Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow accusing China of stripping U.S. companies of their intellectual property, both Ford and GM said “they have no plans to build electric vehicles in China.”

Regardless what the Detroit News thought it heard, last week GM made headlines by announcing it would be diving in head first to a JV agreement with SAIC.

GM and SAIC will co-develop EV architecture, jointly administer and – naturally – share profits. Similarly, last May Daimler announced a JV deal to build EVs with BYD.

A GM of China spokesperson told us last week that no plans were being announced as to whether Chinese EVs would ever be imported to the U.S., and there are no indicators to believe at this point that they would, although of course, it is not out of the question.

As it is, this week eyes are on Ford following its chief executive’s none-too-subtle suggestion.

His words were backed up by Ford Spokesman Daniel Pierce, as reported by the New York Times.

“We have a fleet of electric demonstration vehicles in China, but have not announced any plans to sell or produce electric vehicles in China,” Pierce said. “If we decide to produce electric vehicles in China, we would then determine what technologies would be appropriate to share with our joint venture and also what terms would accompany such an arrangement.”

Presently, other electrified Ford models being sold in China include the Transit Connect, Edge, Focus, Fiesta and the Mondeo and S-Max.

WheelsBlog, Bloomberg, The Truth About Cars

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  • Max Reid

    China has 120 million Electric Bikes & Scooters. They can soon start buying small Electric cars. Way to go.

    Chinese government also encourages EVs, since they are building plenty of nuclear reactors.

  • MrEnergyCzar

    All auto makers will be forced to collaborate with China, they buy more cars each year now than any country ever did.


  • James Davis

    I am beginning to loose all respect for Ford now, and I haven’t had any respect for GM for over two decades.

    GM and Ford knows that America needs jobs and what are they starting to do again…outsource all our jobs to China. Those two are true red, white and blue Republicans aren’t they?

  • pearlyprius

    Agreed, GM and Ford should invent and develop technology in the US for export, thus creating US jobs by exporting – a concept well understood by Asian companies. But alas their only commit is to the globalized shareholder and insulated executives.

  • paradigm shift

    they should. China has all the technology. I will buy ford focus EV since they took no bailout…honda seems to have given up. hyundai sonata hybrid is now right behind current prius. toyota will have plug in next year; love my prius getting 50 mpg and gas can go to ten bucks a gallon like in rest of the modern world which doesn’t have to wage world war for ‘cheap’ oil…leaf sales are steady as are volt at a lower rate.

    we need infrastructure now to not fall behind even further and become the globe’s new ‘sick man’.

    can’t really ‘buy american’ anyway GM etc all made in Mexico or Canada. Ford had plan to bring back domestic jobs paying min wage in factory, so maybe not a good idea for quality control.

    nissan opened huge non union labor plant in south and quality went down..couldn’t even find any american smart enough to do work.

    so I would stick with cars built in Japan and maybe china the new home of all EV technology with 95% of worlds’ rare earths.

  • Robert H

    I’m a little confused by the article in terms of what GM is or isn’t doing. There are 3 or 4 references to them either entering or not entering into a JV with Chinese partner. Which is it?

  • tapra1

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