"They developed very quickly, and they developed them in large scale. And now they're exporting them," Bill Ford said.

(Image credit: Ford China Weibo)

The US is not ready to compete with China in electric vehicle (EV) production, Ford executive chairman Bill Ford said on CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS" Sunday program.

"They developed very quickly, and they developed them in large scale. And now they're exporting them," Ford said, adding, "They're not here but they'll come here we think, at some point, we need to be ready, and we're getting ready."

Ford CEO Jim Farley said in May that Chinese EV makers are its main competitors in the segment and that Ford would need a unique brand or lower cost to beat them.

"I think we see the Chinese as the main competitor, not GM or Toyota. The Chinese are going to be the powerhouse," Farley said.

China has a well-established EV industry chain that Ford is trying to tap into in its electrification transformation efforts.

On February 13, Ford announced it is investing $3.5 billion to build a lithium iron phosphate (LFP) battery plant in Marshall, Michigan.

The plant, which is wholly owned by Ford, is the first battery plant in the US to be wholly owned by an automaker and will introduce LFP battery solutions for Ford's EV products.

Notably, Ford will use technology provided by Chinese power battery giant .

Ford has a new agreement with CATL, which will provide technical and service support for the production of the LFP battery plant, and Ford engineers will work on cell and vehicle integration, it said at the time.

In China, Ford appears to be scaling back its efforts on electrification, after initial attempts didn't yield the desired results.

Earlier this month it was reported that Ford was making organizational changes that would see the Mustang Mach-E team integrated back into Ford China, and that the separate entity running the program would be written off in the future.

That's because Mustang Mach-E sales were too poor for the separate company to sustain losses for long, Jiemian said on June 8, citing a person familiar with the matter.

The reshuffling of the team does not mean the Mustang Mach-E will be withdrawn from China, and the project will continue to be produced by Changan Ford, Ford's joint venture in China, according to the report.

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Ford scaling back ambitions for Mustang Mach-E in China amid poor sales