Ford and Volkswagen Nuzzle Up Even Closer, Reveal Joint Product Push Details

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

Wednesday brought an expanded alliance between Ford Motor Company and Volkswagen, with the two auto giants inking a deal for the joint development and construction of a range of products.

Since last year’s tie-up, the desire among the two companies to use each other’s strengths to address gaps in the market has been well known, though today brought specifics.

The Euro-centric plan (Ford claims “other regions” will benefit from new joint products, too) will begin bearing fruit in short order.

Detailed today, the long-in-the-tooth VW Amarok midsize pickup will remain on the market in name only, with the actual vehicle reverting to a new product based on Ford’s Ranger, the two companies said. Entering the Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles lineup in 2022, the vehicle will be developed and built by Ford.

Next year could also see the launch of a small Ford van based on the VW Caddy and built by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, while the German half of the relationship will see a 1-ton commercial van created by Ford. The Blue Oval already cleans up in this class with its versatile Transit.

Next up is a Ford electric vehicle that should arrive for European customers by 2023. Based on VW’s dedicated MEB architecture, the “highly differentiated” EV will help Ford gain ground in that region’s growing zero-emission vehicle market. Ford’s Cologne-Merkenich facility is tapped for this product, which the automaker claims could see sales of 600,000 vehicles over its lifespan.

“During the lifecycles of the products, the companies expect to produce up to a combined 8 million of the medium pickup truck and both commercial vans included in the commercial relationships,” Ford and VW said in a joint statement.

VW Group CEO Herbert Diess said the coronavirus pandemic has showed the need for “strong” companies to forge “resilient” alliances.

“This collaboration will efficiently drive down development costs, allowing broader global distribution of electric and commercial vehicles, and enhance the positions of both companies,” Diess said.

Ford CEO Jim Hackett called it 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.”

Thanks to billions of dollars in funding between the two of them, the companies also plan to develop “distinct, highly capable autonomous-vehicle businesses” using self-driving tech developed by U.S. startup Argo AI.

[Image: Ford]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on Jun 10, 2020

    VW does not want to integrate toxic company culture from Ford. Culture wars at merged company may bring both of them down. Just look what happened with Renault-Nissan alliance. And they did not even merge yet, and never will. Article only mentions cooperation in developing some products to save money.

  • Scoutdude Scoutdude on Jun 11, 2020

    I don't see anything that says they are getting closer, they just released more details about the already announced projects. Ford is giving VW a small truck and a large van to slap a badge on while Ford will slap a badge on a VW small van. Ford will also use the VW EV platform for a euro offering.

  • Ronin The very asking of the question "Are Plug-In Hybrids the Future?" is an interesting one. Because just 2 or 3 years ago we'd be asking- no, asserting- that E cars are the future. We're no longer asking that question.
  • Peter Benn There apparently were some K-code 4-dr sedan Fairlanes. Collectible Automobile Apr 2024 has found a '63 500 with HD 3/spd.
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  • Rust-MyEnemy Whoa, what the hell is wrong with Jalop1991 and his condescension? It's as if he's employed by Big Plug-In or something."I've seen plenty of your types on the forums....."Dunno what that means, but I'm not dead keen on being regarded as "A type" by a complete stranger"" I'm guessing you've never actually calculated by hand the miles you've driven against the quantity of gas used--which is your actual miles per gallon."Guess again. Why the hell would you even say that? Yes, I worked it out. Fill-to-fill, based on gas station receipts. And it showed me that a Vauxhall Astra PHEV, starting out with a fully charged PHEV battery, in Hybrid mode, on my long (234-mile) daily motorway daily commute, never, over several months, ever matched or beat the economy of the regular hybrid Honda Civic that I ran for a similar amount of time (circa 5000 miles)."You don't use gasoline at all for 30-40 miles as you use exclusively battery power, then your vehicle is a pure hybrid. Over 234 miles, you will have used whatever gas the engine used for 200 of those miles."At least you're right on that. In hybrid mode, though, the Astra was using battery power when it wasn't at all appropriate. The petrol engine very rarely chimed in when battery power was on tap, and as a result, the EV-mode range quickly disappeared. The regular hybrid Civic, though, deployed its very small electric reserves (which are used up quickly but restore themselves promptly), much more wisely. Such as when on a trailing throttle or on a downward grade, or when in stop-start traffic. As a result, at the end of my 234 miles, the Civic had used less gas than the Astra. Moreover, I hadn't had to pay for the electricity in its battery.I look forward to you arguing that what actually happened isn't what actually happened, but I was there and you were not."Regardless, that you don't understand it appears not to have stopped you from pontificating on it. Please, do us all a favor--don't vote."You really are quite unpleasant, aren't you. But thanks for the advice.
  • Tassos Jong-iL Electric vehicles are mandated by 2020 in One Korea. We are ahead of the time.
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