Ford and Volkswagen have announced an expanding alliance that will incorporate electric vehicles and a joint investment in Argo AI for the introduction of autonomous vehicle tech.

Ford and Volkswagen might be fierce rivals where sales are concerned but the two businesses are working closely together on commercial vehicles, and going forward the new Amarok will be built on the same platform as the Ford Ranger – expected to be in-market by 2022. Now, the two car makers have announced they’ll work together on the electric vehicles and autonomous vehicle technology.

Going forward, Ford will make use of Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Toolkit, the brand’s electric vehicle platform. Ford expects to start rolling out its own vehicles on the VW platform from 2023 in Europe. And, beyond that, Ford expects to sell more than 600,000 electric vehicles in Europe across six years.

In addition to their collaboration on multiple vehicle platforms, Volkswagen has joined Ford by investing in Argo AI which is an autonomous vehicle platform company. While co-investors, how they’ll use the technology will remain independent of one another “to support the distinct people and goods movement initiatives of both companies”. Argo AI’s focus remains on delivering a SAE Level 4-capable SDS to be applied for ride sharing and goods delivery services in dense urban areas. This means, potentially, that the Ford and VW commercial vehicle tie-up could see some level of autonomous driving built in to the vans they’ll be jointly producing.

“While Ford and Volkswagen remain independent and fiercely competitive in the marketplace, teaming up and working with Argo AI on this important technology allows us to deliver unmatched capability, scale and geographic reach,” Ford boss, Jim Hackett said. “Unlocking the synergies across a range of areas allows us to showcase the power of our global alliance in this era of smart vehicles for a smart world.”


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