It's one of three new vehicles expected from the alliance.
Two of the world's automotive giants, Ford and Volkswagen, are more commonly known for battling it out on the road. The Golf vs Focus hatchback rivalry is one of the most well-known, even though the latter is no longer offered in the US. With such intense competition, it came as a surprise to many when the two automakers confirmed a global collaboration last year. Back then, we learned that both automakers would invest in the autonomous vehicle platform company, Argo AI.
It seems that the partnership has stepped into high gear, with the Volkswagen AG Supervisory Board now giving the green light to a slew of future projects, including three vehicles, but the one that caught our eye is a new midsize pickup. Both automakers are expected to sign final agreements for these projects imminently.
Unsurprisingly, the truck will be developed by Ford, since it has a far superior track record in this segment, with the top-selling F-150 leading the way. This truck will then be adapted by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles in specific markets.
It's expected that this new Ford truck will be the all-new Ranger. We anticipate that Volkswagen will use the new Ranger as a base for its own Amarok, a midsize truck that is currently sold in other markets such as Australia and South Africa. Hopefully, the Ranger/Amarok project will be more of a success than the Nissan Navara/Mercedes X-Class spiel, with many criticizing the X-Class for not feeling like enough of a Mercedes.
A midsize pickup isn't all that's on the agenda for Volkswagen-Ford, though. The relationship is going to spawn two more vehicle projects, the one being a city delivery van. In this case, VW will take charge with the vehicle's development. Ford is also set to head up the development of a van which will fit into the one-ton loader segment. Finally, VW's own Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) will be used for a Ford electric car in Europe.
Of course, as with BMW and Toyota with the Z4/Supra, such collaborations can drastically reduce individual business costs, but the challenge is always in ending up with vehicles that are distinct from each other and that remain faithful to the philosophy of each brand. Time will tell whether VW and Ford get the balance right.