Smith Electric Looks to China for JV Partner, Market

$75 million joint venture between Smith and Wanxiang will build electric school buses and commercial vehicles in China.

Published: 19-Feb-2012

A Kansas City company that makes electric trucks for such brands as Coca-Cola and Fed-Ex has figured out where its next customers and investors are: China.

Smith Electric Vehicles has cut a deal with Wanxiang under which the Chinese manufacturer will put up $75 million to form a joint venture with Smith to make electric school buses and commercial vehicles in China. The Chinese manufacturer has also made a $25 million equity investment in Smith, the companies announced today.

Deals between U.S. manufacturers and Chinese counterparts are common when those U.S. manufacturers want to gain entry to that immense market. Further, China has been moving aggressively to develop cleantech industries such as electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind turbines.

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