Volkswagen and Ford have announced an extension of their cooperation: in the future, they will also cover the areas of electromobility and autonomous driving. Close cooperation should increase the competitiveness of both companies and realize cost and investment synergies.
Specifically, Volkswagen is investing jointly with Ford in the American start-up Argo AI, specializing in software platforms for autonomous driving. Automakers want to use Argo AI's fully automated Tier 4 to drive their own vehicles independently to create their respective mobility services.
"While Ford and Volkswagen remain independent competitors, their collaboration with Argo AI improves the performance, economies of scale and geographic reach of the autonomous driving industry," said Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford. "Synergies in many areas of our global collaboration will enable us to fully develop smart vehicles for a smart world."
Ford builds electric cars with VW technology
According to the new agreement, Ford is one of the first automakers out of the Volkswagen group to use the group's modular electric car kit MEB. The US supplier announced in 2023 a mass-produced vehicle based on the MEB for the European market. Ford plans more than 600,000 vehicles sold in the next six years. In addition, he plans to sell a second SEM-based model in Europe.
Volkswagen has invested more than six billion euros in the development of SEM architecture since 2016. Over the next decade, more than 15 million new vehicles of the group will be built on the car platform electric. Ford is investing nearly 10 billion euros in the electrification of its global vehicle range. This includes the use of Volkswagen's SEM architecture. In doing so, Ford wants to increase the supply of electric vehicles for European customers and achieve its sustainable development goals.
Closer cooperation possible
"In the future, more and more customers and the environment will benefit from the pioneering architecture of the Volkswagen Group in the field of electronic vehicles.Our alliance with Ford is developing more and more promising. We are also looking at other opportunities for cooperation, "said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess. "Scaling up our modular Modular E-Drive (MEB) system reduces the development costs of emission-free vehicles and allows us to expand and accelerate the global adoption of electric cars, which improves the positioning of both companies through improved capital efficiency, additional growth and increased competitiveness. "
Volkswagen and Ford are on the right track in the previously announced cooperation on light commercial vehicles and mid-size vans, the partners said. Allianz strengthens respective competitiveness in key markets and creates "significant efficiency gains" for both companies.