(Zhu Jiang, head of Ford China's Mustang Mach-E program, unveils the model on April 13.)

There have been rumors that Zhu Jiang, the head of Ford China's Mustang Mach-E program and a former vice president, may leave the company, and now the news seems closer to confirmation.

As the chief operating officer of Ford China's electric vehicle division and head of the Mustang Mach-E electric vehicle project, Zhu has offered to leave the company and the news could be officially announced today, nbd.com.cn quoted Ford China insiders as saying.

There is widespread speculation in the industry that Zhu's next stop could be 's automotive business, but this has not been confirmed, the report said.

Zhu's departure puts the Mustang Mach-E project in the spotlight at a critical time when Ford China's first electrified product is entering the market.

"Mark Kaufman, general manager of Ford China's electric vehicle division, is leading a team with extensive experience in advancing Ford China's electric vehicle business and the introduction of the domestic Mustang Mach-E into the market," a Ford China source told nbd.com.cn.

Zhu officially joined Ford China on June 1, 2020, during which time he led the team through the production and launch of Ford's first pure electric vehicle, the Mustang Mach-E, in China.

Prior to joining Ford China, Zhu served as Vice President of user development for Nio and Vice President of Lexus China. He had also held positions as Vice President of Brand Management for MINI China, Vice President of Brand Marketing for Amazon Kindle, and Vice President of BMW China.

There were already reports a month ago that Zhu might leave.

On April 6, LatePost cited multiple independent sources as saying that Chinese car-sharing giant Didi Chuxing has launched a car-building project headed by Didi Vice President Yang Jun, who is also the chief product officer for Didi's D1, a custom car co-branded with .

Another Chinese tech giant gets in! Didi has reportedly launched car-building project

The report cites a source familiar with the matter as saying that Ford China's Zhu could join Didi

Separately, according to a report by yicai.com, Zhu could also join Baidu's car-building business, Jidu Auto.

Xiaomi announced on March 30 that it was entering the smart electric car market with an expected $10 billion investment over 10 years, with an initial $10 billion installment, and that the company's CEO Lei Jun would also serve as CEO of the smart electric car business.

Jidu Auto CEO Xia Yiping said in a media exchange late last month that its core team is already in place, with about 100 people, with R&D staff in both Beijing and Shanghai.

Jidu Auto plans to expand its team to 2,500-3,000 people by the end of next year, including 400-500 software engineers, Xia said.

Xia said the thing he's been thinking about most in the past three months is how to sail Jidu Auto's "big ship," with team recruitment as a top priority.

China-made Ford Mustang Mach-E SUV launched with access to NIO charging network