And what it might mean for Volkswagen fans in America.
This week, we finally learned more details about Ford's alliance with VW that will see the two automakers collaborate develop autonomous technology, electric vehicles, mobility services and midsize pickup trucks. Since the initial announcement was made last year, Ford has confirmed the two automakers will build a new city van and midsize pickup.
During the lifecycle of these vehicles, Ford and VW plan to build eight million units of the midsize pickup and city van. In 2022, Ford, on the other hand, will be building the second-generation Amarok pickup based on the Ford Ranger at its Silverton plant in South Africa. In an interesting revelation, VW has revealed that the Amarok, which has never been sold in the US, would have likely been discontinued without this new partnership with Ford.
"What is important for both partners is the utilisation of the same platform. At the same time we will both be able to fully deploy our strengths," said Thomas Sedran, Chairman of the Board of Management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. "Through custom designs and interfaces we will clearly differentiate the two models. For us as Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, our sights with the Amarok successor are on our main markets, above all in the EMEA economic area (Europe, the Middle East and Africa). Ultimately it is our customers who will benefit, as without the cooperation we would not have developed a new Amarok."
As part of the alliance, Volkswagen will also build a new city delivery van for Ford at its Poland factory in 2021 based on the Caddy 5 unveiled earlier this year. Ford, on the other hand, will be leading development on a new "1ton" commercial van with a payload of up to one ton and an electric vehicle that will utilize VW's MEB modular platform, which will also underpin the Volkswagen ID.4 electric crossover. As well as developing new vehicles, both automakers will continue investing and developing VW's Argo AI autonomous technology.
While the Amarok previously never reached American shores, if it's going to share a platform with the Ranger, it may be on its way sooner than we think.