Ford and VW sign joint LCV and EV agreements | Automotive Industry News

Ford will design and build the replacement Amarok for VW. This is not the first time VW has ‘borrowed’ a one-tonne pickup – during the 90s it built and sold Toyota’s Hilux as the Taro

Ford and Volkswagen said they had signed agreements to expand their global alliance to design and develop midsize pickup trucks plus commercial and electric vehicles.

Plans for the agreements were first announced last July.

The companies said today (10 June) they expected the alliance to bring more innovative vehicles to market with new technology, widening their respective model ranges.

In particular, they expect continued growth in global demand for commercial vehicles and for high performing electric vehicles.

The alliance would:

  • Produce a medium pickup truck engineered and built by Ford, for sale by Volkswagen as the Amarok starting in 2022 (within the VW Commercial Vehicles model line)
  • Further strengthen the commercial vehicles businesses of both companies – as early as 2021 – with a city delivery van based on the latest Caddy model, developed and built by VCV, and, later, a one tonne cargo van developed by Ford, and
  • Lead to a “highly differentiated” Ford electric vehicle for Europe by 2023 built on VW’s Modular Electric Drive (MEB) toolkit, expanding Ford’s zero-emission capabilities in the region

During the life cycles of the products, the companies expect to produce up to a combined 8m of the medium pickup truck and both commercial vans included in this agreement.

“In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on the global economy, more than ever it is vital to set up resilient alliances between strong companies,” said VW group CEO Herbert Diess in a statement.

“This collaboration will efficiently drive down development costs, allowing broader global distribution of electric and commercial vehicles, and enhance the positions of both companies.”

Added Ford CEO Jim Hackett: “This alliance comes at a time of tremendous enthusiasm about the intersection of increasingly intelligent, connected vehicles in an ever-smarter world.

“This creates a huge opportunity to innovate and solve many of the world’s transportation challenges and deliver extraordinary benefits to customers – even as companies need to be selective about how they use their cash.”

Both Ford and Volkswagen already have strong commercial van and pickup business worldwide, including popular models such as Ford’s Transit and Ranger and VCV’s Transporter, Crafter, Caddy and Amarok.

“Commercial vehicles are fundamental to Ford today and an area where we will accelerate and grow, and working with VW on these platforms will provide both of us significant financial advantages in things like engineering, and plants and tooling,” said Ford chief operating officer Jim Farley.

“Separately, Ford will add battery electric versions of Transit and F-150 in the next 24 months for commercial customers who increasingly need zero emissions and the power of connectivity, data and artificial intelligence.”

“The collaboration with Ford is a key building block of our GRIP 2025+ strategy and part of the current transformation of VCV,” said management board chairman Thomas Sedran.

“This long term cooperation with Ford will strengthen our very good position in area of light commercial vehicles, especially in our core European markets, and is proof that we are successfully implementing our plan step by step.”

Ford’s use of VW MEB architecture in Europe would be another cornerstone in the German automaker’s electric vehicle strategy, and further efforts by both companies to fulfill their commitments to the Paris 2015 Agreement.

The pair said they planned to explore additional ways to cooperate on electric vehicles.

Over several years starting in 2023, Ford could deliver 600,000 electric vehicles atop the MEB architecture which is designed to combine space and performance with electric drive.

The vehicle, designed and engineered by Ford in Cologne-Merkenich, would add “another compelling nameplate to its own, all electric, Mustang Mach-E, which will be introduced in 2021.

Additionally, the companies will both work with Argo AI to form distinct, highly capable autonomous vehicle businesses based on the latter’s self-driving technology.

The Volkswagen/Ford alliance does not include cross-ownership between the companies, which will remain competitors.

VW closes AV tech deal with Argo AI

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