The joint venture could lead to other projects, too.
Earlier this year, Volkswagen and Ford announced a joint partnership that will see the two automakers produce commercial vans and a mid-size pickup truck. Specific model details weren't revealed at the time, but Automotive News reports that Ford and VW have signed an initial contract that will see the automakers co-develop a successor to the Amarok. It will be based on the same platform as the Ranger mid-size pickup to help VW cut production costs.
Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles CEO Thomas Sedran added that other joint projects with Ford could follow including additional vehicle projects, autonomous driving or shared use of electric mobility platforms. "We are in constructive talks about taking a stake in Argo, the Ford division for autonomous driving. A joint company for offering mobility as a service is also a possibility," Sedran said.
Ford bought Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based self-driving startup, in 2017 but development costs for autonomous cars have increased in recent years, prompting automakers to seek alliances and outside investors. Last month, a report by The Wall Street Journal claimed that VW is preparing to invest $600 million as an equity investment in Argo, with each company owning half of the business. VW would invest $1.1 billion in working capital for the Argo’s R&D operations.
The Volkswagen Amarok has never been sold in the US, but this could finally change with the successor as CEO Herbert Diess has previously said the Amarok will only be sold in America if Ford and VW join forces to develop a pickup truck. Now that an agreement has been reached, it seems very likely that the Amarok will finally arrive in America.