Ford confirms it will build a vehicle using VW's EV architecture

Ford confirms it will build a vehicle using VW's EV architecture

VW's Argo AI investment includes $1 billion in cash, which matches what Ford first committed to the company in 2017, along with the integration of its existing Autonomous Intelligent Driving company that is now 200 employees strong.

Volkswagen will contribute its Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) company to the venture.

"Our global alliance is beginning to demonstrate even greater promise, and we are continuing to look at other areas on which we might collaborate", Diess said. This brings the total investments into the autonomous company up to more than $7 billion.

In May, a group of internal institutional investors sank $1.15 billion into GM Cruise LLC, the autonomous vehicle unit of Ford's main competitor, General Motors.

Ford Automotive President Joe Hinrichs said it would take four years to design Ford's electric auto around VW's MEB architecture, and retool a Ford of Europe plant to build the vehicle.

- In April, Ford said it would invest $500 million in electric vehicle startup Rivian to build a Ford vehicle on Rivian's underpinnings.

Ford also will build an electric auto in Europe, starting in 2023, using VW's MEB electric vehicle platform, the companies said.

As for Ford and Volkswagen, Hackett and VW CEO Herbert Diess left the door open to more collaboration between the companies, but they did not say whether there were specific additional partnerships in the works.

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

Ford also gets something out of this partnership. The company is working on developing self-driving technology for ride sharing and goods delivery services in dense urban areas.

Analysts at Citi said Ford licensing Volkswagen's MEB platform is a "transformational" step for both companies. "The combination of these two massive automakers is exactly what needs to happen to accelerate the adoption of AV and EV technology".

Shares of Ford rose 1.6 percent in early trading Friday.

Suppliers familiar with Ford's plans say the No. 2 USA automaker is developing a broader portfolio of electric vehicles, majority crossovers that will carry the Ford and Lincoln brands, for North America and China. Ford will also engineer and build a large commercial van for both automakers for Europe.

With electric vehicles, manufacturers are under pressure to release zero-emission cars in markets such as China and Europe to meet tougher pollution limits.

Related Articles