Ford and Volkswagen announce "global alliance" on electric, self-driving cars
Under the agreement, Ford will use Volkswagen's electric vehicle architecture and Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) to design and build at least one high-volume fully electric vehicle for European customers starting in 2023, Ford said in a press release.
Ford expects to deliver more than 600,000 vehicles in Europe, using Volkswagen's MEB architecture over six years.
Meanwhile, Volkswagen will join Ford in investing in Argo AI, a Pittsburgh-based autonomous vehicle platform company. Such a tie-up allows both automakers to independently integrate Argo AI's self-driving system into their own vehicles.
The two giant automakers believe that by expanding collaboration, they can improve their competitiveness and cost efficiency.
"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 President and CEO Jim Hackett was quoted as saying.
"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," he added.
Herbert Diess, Volkswagen's CEO, said that they hope 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," said Diess. ■