Ford, Volkswagen to broaden global alliance

12 Juillet, 2019, 18:26 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • VW to Invest in Ford Backed Argo AI at $7 Billion Valuation

Outside of autonomous technology, Ford will use Volkswagen's electric vehicle platform to launch a new zero-emission auto in Europe in 2023, part of the company's $11.5 billion investment in electric vehicles.

"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 CEO and President Jim Hackett said.

Volkswagen will invest $2.6 billion in capital and assets in Ford's self-driving unit Argo AI to market new-technology vehicles in the United States and Europe. The pair are strengthening their alliance to work together on those hottest of emerging automotive technologies, electric vehicles and autonomous driving.

Volkswagen intends to launch a vehicle with Argo's platform in "the early 2020s", according to CEO Herbert Diess.

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.

VW will become an equal stakeholder in Ford's autonomous vehicles venture. The two companies say a second Ford-badged MEB-based BEV is also under discussion.

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Argo AI's technology will be incorporated into both Ford and VW vehicles as part of each company's plans to offer geofenced driverless robotaxis or goods delivery services in the USA and Europe.

The cooperation with VW on electric vehicles in Europe is part of Ford's previously disclosed $11.5 billion EV investment worldwide.

"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".

"Ford will be a more targeted business in Europe, consistent with the company's global redesign", European president Stuart Rowley said in a June statement.

Ford created Ford Autonomous Vehicles LLC in 2018, pledging to invest $4 billion until 2023 and has sought outside investors to help share the spiraling cost of developing autonomous vehicles.

Volkswagen will put forward just under £2.1 billion - including £800 million in direct funding and the transferring of its own Autonomous Intelligent Driving (AID) company, valued at £1.28bn - as well as purchasing shares from Ford over a three-year period.

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