Ford, VW Expand Global Collaboration
July 12, 2019— Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG today announced they are expanding their global alliance to include electric vehicles—and will collaborate with Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the U.S. and Europe.
Ford and Volkswagen will have an equal stake in Argo AI, and combined, Volkswagen and Ford will own a substantial majority. The remainder will be used as an incentive pool for Argo AI employees. The full transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
Company leaders also announced Ford will become the first additional automaker to use Volkswagen’s dedicated electric vehicle architecture and Modular Electric Toolkit—or MEB—to deliver a high-volume zero-emission vehicle in Europe starting in 2023.
Ford expects to deliver more than 600,000 European vehicles using the MEB architecture over six years, with a second all-new Ford model for European customers under discussion. This supports Ford’s European strategy, which involves continuing to play on its strengths—including commercial vehicles, compelling crossovers and imported iconic vehicles such as Mustang and Explorer.
Volkswagen started developing its MEB architecture in 2016, investing approximately $7 billion in this platform. The car-maker is planning to use this platform to build approximately 15 million cars for the Volkswagen Group alone in the next decade.
The alliance, which covers collaborations outside of Volkswagen and Ford’s joint investments in Argo AI, does not entail cross-ownership between the two companies and is independent from the investment into Argo AI. The alliance is governed by a joint committee, which is led by Hackett and Diess and includes senior executives from both companies.
The companies also are on track to deliver medium pickup trucks for global customers, aiming to start in 2022, followed by commercial vans.