Ford and Volkswagen have announced plans to expand their global alliance to include electric vehicles, while also confirming their bakkie tie-up “remains on track”.
In a joint statement, the two companies said Ford would use VW’s new MEB platform to “design and build at least one high-volume fully electric vehicle in Europe for European customers starting in 2023”.
In addition, Volkswagen would join Ford in investing in Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle platform company, allowing both automakers to “independently integrate Argo AI’s self-driving system into their own vehicles, delivering significant global scale”.
Furthermore, the companies confirmed they remained “on track” in their previously announced plans to "improve their respective strengths in commercial vans and medium pickups" in key global markets.
“Ford will engineer, source and build the previously announced medium pickup for both companies for customers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and South America, with trucks expected to arrive in key markets as early as 2022,” the statement said.
“For both companies, Ford intends to engineer, source and build larger commercial vans for European customers starting in 2022, and Volkswagen intends to develop, source and build a city van for sale in Europe and other select global markets,” it added.
“As both companies expect customer demand for medium pickups and commercial vans to grow globally in the next five years, collaborating on these key segments will allow better technologies and more innovation to reach their respective customers more quickly – with better plant capacity utilisation.”
Back in January 2019, the two firms announced the first “formal agreements in a broad alliance” that would include the US brand engineering and building "medium-sized" bakkies "for both companies”.
By the end of March 2019, Volkswagen confirmed it had signed a contract with Ford for the Blue Oval brand to develop a successor to the Amarok bakkie.