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Ford and VW sign agreement for cooperation on EVs, commercial vehicles and autonomous driving

Date: 10 June 2020   |   Author: Illya Verpraet

A deal between Ford and the Volkswagen Group for cooperation on EVs, commercial vehicles and autonomous driving had been in the works for a long time and has now been signed.

Ford will be able to use Volkswagen's MEB modular electric vehicle architecture, with an EV based on that toolkit planned for 2023. Ford expects to deliver 600,000 of these MEB-based electric vehicles. VW aims to launch the MEB-based I.D.3 (pictured) this summer.

VW will in turn benefit from Ford's expertise in pick-up trucks. The Ford Ranger has been one of the best-selling pick-up trucks in Europe in recent years and the replacement for the VW Amarok will most likely be Ranger-based.

Both companies will also produce small vans based on the VW Caddy, with VW building a city delivery van and Ford developing a 1-ton cargo van using the same architecture.

The companies expect to produce a combined 8 million commercial vehicles during the lifecycles of these products.

Jim Farley, Ford chief operating officer, said: "Commercial vehicles are fundamental to Ford today and an area where we will accelerate and grow, and working with Volkswagen on these platforms will provide both of us significant financial advantages in things like engineering, and plants and tooling. 

"Separately, Ford will add battery electric versions of Transit and F-150 in the next 24 months for commercial customers who increasingly need zero emissions and the power of connectivity, data and artificial intelligence."

Thomas Sedran, chairman of the board of management board for Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, commented: "This long-term cooperation with Ford will strengthen our very good position in area of light commercial vehicles, especially in our core European markets, and is proof that we are successfully implementing our plan step by step."

The companies have both invested in self-driving technology company Argo AI and will be using the technology when it comes to market.