Published: Fri, July 12, 2019
Finance | By Loren Pratt

Ford-VW alliance means more EVs for Europe, joint Argo AI investment

Ford-VW alliance means more EVs for Europe, joint Argo AI investment

Hackett commented on the partnership stating: "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".

As part of the deal, VW will become an equal stakeholder in Ford's self-driving cars venture, while Ford will get access to VW's electric vehicle technology.

Akshay Anand, executive analyst at Kelley Blue Book, said in an emailed statement that partnerships such as this one "will continue to ramp up in coming years, crossing boundaries most would not have envisioned even 10 years ago". The German-carmaker will also contribute its own self-driving arm, which includes more than 200 employees and is valued at $1.6 billion.

Ford will also sell electric cars in Europe based on its own platforms, including the Mustang-inspired Mach E SUV due out in 2021 and the electric F150 it has under development. (Ford will still complete its billion-dollar investment in Argo AI).

Automotive manufacturers are increasingly partnering to advance work on self-driving cars, given the high cost of developing the technology.

Ford created Ford Autonomous Vehicles in 2018, pledging to invest $4 billion until 2023 and has sought outside investors to help share the spiralling cost of developing autonomous vehicles.

Also this year, Ford said it would invest $500 million in USA electric vehicle startup Rivian, while Fiat Chrysler is in talks to produce self-driving commercial vehicles with startup Aurora.

The broader alliance, which covers collaboration beyond joint investments in Argo AI, does not entail cross-ownership between the two companies.

"Ford will engineer, source and build the previously announced medium pickup for both companies for customers in Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and South America, with trucks expected to arrive in key markets as early as 2022", the statement said. Edmunds provides content for The Associated Press.

Sharing the MEB platform with other automakers will increase volume to spread development costs and make EVs "more affordable for consumers, and be better for the environment", said VW CEO Herbert Diess.

A joint venture between Ford and Volkswagen (VW) was announced on Friday. They're also under pressure to release electric vehicles in markets such as China and Europe to meet tougher pollution limits. They said Ford would develop larger vans and pickups while Volkswagen would develop a smaller van for crowded cities.

Like this: