Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen AG are expanding their global alliance to include electric vehicles – and will collaborate with Ford’s self-driving unit Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the U.S. and Europe.
Ford and Volkswagen will have an equal stake in Argo AI.
Ford CEO Jim Hackett says: “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,”
He adds: “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.”
Argo AI CEO Bryan Salesky says: “Argo AI is fortunate to have a world-class team due to our clear mission and the commitment to deployment from our partners, and together with AID employees, we will have a global workforce to attract even more of the best talent. Plus, thanks to Ford and Volkswagen, Argo AI technology could one day reach nearly every market in North America and Europe, applied across multiple brands and to a multitude of vehicle architectures.”
Ford will also use Volkswagen’s electric vehicle architecture and Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) to design and build at least one high-volume fully electric vehicle in Europe for European customers starting in 2023.
Volkswagen CEO Dr. Herbert Diess says: “Looking ahead, even more customers and the environment will benefit from Volkswagen’s industry-leading EV architecture. Our global alliance is beginning to demonstrate even greater promise, and we are continuing to look at other areas on which we might collaborate.”
He adds: “Scaling our MEB drives down development costs for zero-emissions vehicles, allowing for a broader and faster global adoption of electric vehicles. This improves the positions of both companies through greater capital efficiency, further growth and improved competitiveness.”
The companies also are on track to deliver medium pickup trucks for global customers, aiming to start in 2022, followed by commercial vans.
The global alliance is governed by a joint committee, which is led by Hackett and Diess and includes senior executives from both companies.