We knew this was coming. Here are the details.
Over a year ago, Ford and Volkswagen announced a new alliance that would see the two automotive giants team up in several areas of mutual interest, including autonomous technology, electric vehicles, and even pickup trucks. In regards the latter, the carmakers have just signed an agreement that will see the alliance expanded to include 8 million midsize pickup trucks and commercial vans during the lifecycle of these vehicles.
Starting in 2022, the companies will collaborate on a new city van built by VW, a 1-ton cargo van developed by Ford, and, most interestingly, a medium pickup truck for Volkswagen built on the same platform as the Ford Ranger.
The following year, Ford will also build a new electric vehicle for the European market using VW's MEB modular architecture with upwards of 600,000 units planned over the course of several years. MEB also underpins the upcoming VW ID.4 all-electric crossover and overseas-only ID.3 hatchback. Ford will design and engineer this so far unnamed EV in Cologne, Germany. Both automakers plan to further cooperate on potentially more EVs, but details have yet to be announced. In addition to the new vehicles, Ford and VW will continue working with and funding Argo AI for future autonomous vehicle technologies.
"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 Volkswagen Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess. "This collaboration will efficiently drive down development costs, allowing broader global distribution of electric and commercial vehicles, and enhance the positions of both companies."
Ford CEO Jim Hackett is equally pleased with the deal, stating that the alliance "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."
It's important to remember that this alliance is not a merger. No equity is being traded. Each automaker has something to gain from the other because they happen to be weak in a certain segment(s). Helping each other out in specific weak areas will be far less expensive than investing in them individually.