Ford, Volkswagen Unveil Joint Production Plans
Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen finalized plans for its alliance and collaboration on several new vehicles through 2023. The partnership, which was confirmed last July, will result in the production of millions of electric vehicles, pickup trucks, and commercial vans.
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“This alliance comes at a time of tremendous enthusiasm about the intersection of increasingly intelligent, connected vehicles in an ever-smarter world,” said Ford CEO Jim Hackett. “This creates a huge opportunity to innovate and solve many of the world’s transportation challenges and deliver extraordinary benefits to customers — even as companies need to be selective about how they use their cash.”
Vehicles resulting from the alliance will be available throughout Europe and other regions under each automaker’s distinctive brand. Per Volkswagen Group CEO Dr. Herbert Diess, the companies working together will be mutually advantageous when it comes to costs, distribution, and market presence.
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The first order of business for the Ford/VW alliance will be jointly developing and producing new commercial vans. Set to kick in as early as next year, Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles will develop and produce a new city delivery van based on its Caddy model while Ford builds a one-ton cargo van. Ford COO Jim Farley says that by combining plants, tooling, and engineering resources, both companies stand to gain financially.
Ford will offer the platform underpinning its Ranger to help Volkswagen produce a new version of its Amarok pickup truck. The Amarok will join the VW Commercial Vehicles lineup as early as 2022. Over the lifetime of the agreement, Ford and VW expect to produce a total of 8 million units of the midsize truck, cargo van, and city van.
“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,” said Thomas Sedran, chairman of the board of management of Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
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Ford, VW advance electrification
A major component of the Ford/VW alliance is the proliferation of electric vehicle offerings in Europe. In addition to all-electric versions of the F-150 and Transit, Ford plans to leverage Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive architecture to build up to 600,000 “highly differentiated” electric vehicles for European markets. Production on the MEB-based EVs should begin in 2023.
Ford and Volkswagen will continue to explore additional avenues for collaboration, especially when it comes to the development of electrified and self-driving vehicles. Both automakers are committed to the Paris 2015 Agreement.