Ford believes China is poised to become the most favorable market for the development and sale of electric vehicles, according to the US auto giant's executive chairman. "We are very excited to see this vision come to life in China", he said.
Added [CEO Jim} Hackett: "Ford's aspiration is to become the world's most trusted mobility company, designing smart vehicles for a smart world". They have been encouraged by China and Beijing's governments, which have put significant resources behind electric vehicle manufacturing and have introduced regulations that mandate auto companies sell a greater proportion of electric and hybrid vehicles or get shut out of the world's biggest auto market.
The company also outlined its planned shift toward smart vehicles, saying that all new Ford and Lincoln vehicles in China will be connected to the internet by the end of 2019. "We now have a chance to expand our presence in China and deliver even more for customers, our partners and society". By 2019 it will be building five new Ford and Lincoln models including a premium Lincoln SUV and the aforementioned plug-in electric vehicle in China.
The best current example being the Ford Eco Sport, a sub-compact crossover built in Brazil and India for local markets that fell short of expectations when initially launched in Europe in 2014.
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Discovery buys majority stake in OWN from Oprah Winfrey
But the deal, announced Monday, increases Discovery's ownership stake in the basic cable channel by 24.5% to almost 75%. Harpo Inc. retains a minority stake in OWN, and Winfrey will continue in her role as CEO through at least 2025.