By on March 28, 2019

2017 Volkswagen Amarok, Image: Volkswagen

The fledgling alliance between Ford and Volkswagen took another step towards jointly-developed products Thursday, with VW signing an initial contract for a Ranger-based replacement for VW’s aging, midsize Amarok.

Commercial vans and pickups were top of mind when the automakers officially partnered up back in January, with electric vehicles and autonomous driving serving as (potential) future collaborations. More news on that front arrived today, too. 

The automakers said earlier this year that the jointly-developed pickup would arrive by 2022, timed with the release of the next-generation Ranger. Under the agreement, Ford would develop and build the VW-badged truck, though its German partner insists the truck will have its own unique design and personality.

Volkswagen’s midsize, body-on-frame Amarok started production in 2010 and is sold in Europe, South America, Mexico, South Africa, and a few other markets. With VW sinking so much cash into EVs, teaming up with Ford on trucks would help the automaker save on development costs.

According to Reuters (via Automotive News Europe), Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles CEO Thomas Sedran said additional joint projects are still under consideration.

“We are in constructive talks about taking a stake in Argo, the Ford division for autonomous driving. A joint company for offering mobility as a service is also a possibility,” Sedran said. A decision will be made in the coming months, he added.

Earlier this year, reports emerged that Volkswagen was considering an investment of up to $1.7 billion in Argo AI, a self-driving startup bought by Ford in 2017.

As for American consumers, VW is still entertaining the idea of releasing a pickup in North America — either a unibody vehicle derived from the Atlas crossover, or perhaps a BOF vehicle created with help from Ford.

[Image: Volkswagen Group]

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