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Ford and Volkswagen to jointly work on CVs, EVs and autonomous vehicles

Aditya Chatterjee  | Updated: June 11, 2020, 11:41 AM IST

It was already known that Volkswagen and Ford were looking at jointly working on vehicles that will cater to different segments, by leveraging the expertise of both the brands.  With the signing of an agreement, the same has now become official. According to the agreement, Ford will develop and manufacture a mid-sized pick-up truck that will be sold as the Volkswagen Amarok in 2022, based on the Ranger platform. The American automobile manufacturer will also develop a one-ton commercial van for Volkswagen. On the other hand, Volkswagen will make a city commercial van based on the Caddy for Ford. The partnership will be manufacturing 8 million vehicles over the lifecycles of these three commercial offerings. Additionally, both the brands will be pooling their resources to develop electric and autonomous vehicles for all markets.

New-gen pick up truck for both brands

Starting with the pick-up truck, the new generation Ford Ranger is already in the works. Ford will be manufacturing the new Amarok, based on the Ranger's platform, at its Silverton plant in South Africa. While there is no official timeline for the new Ranger, it is believed to hit the international markets early next year, following that will come the Volkswagen Amarok in 2022. Even with common underpinnings, both the pick-up trucks are said to have a distinct appearance on the outside as well as inside.

Ford will develop and manufacture a mid-sized pick-up truck that will be sold as the Volkswagen Amarok in 2022

The Ford Ranger pick-up has a stronger market presence in Europe and other international markets, compared to Amarok. And we believe Volkswagen would target the same with the new-gen Amarok, in addition to the African and Middle-Eastern markets.

Commercial Van plans

Further, the one-ton cargo van by Ford is believed to be the new-gen successor of the Transit.  One of the successful offerings by Ford in the US with a market share of 41 percent, the company sold a total of 1.53 lakh units of the Transit in the US last year, helping Ford retain its lead over the competition from Nissan NV, Chevrolet Express and also the  GMC Savana. The new-gen Transit will also underpin the Volkswagen van, that will be sold through Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.

EVs in the making

Another important area where VW-Ford will work together are electric vehicles. A Ford EV will be built with the underpinnings of the VW's MEB Modular Electric Drive, that will be commercially launched in 2023. In the announcement, Ford mentioned that the Transit electric along with the F-150 electric will be launched in two years, which could be based on the MEB platform.

Ford plans to sell 6 lakh units of the EV that will be based on the MEB and will be designed and engineered by Ford in Cologne-Merkenich. This EV will be in addition to the Ford Mach-E that arrives in 2021.

Autonomous tech

Both the companies are making independent investments in the Pittsburgh-based Argo AI for design and development of autonomous vehicles. While Ford already had investments in the firm, VW made its official investment last week. Both these investments are said to facilitate resources, accelerate development time and offer efficient cost-effective manufacturing of autonomous vehicles. Presently, Argo AI has its commercial deployment plans for Europe and US, but with Ford and Volkswagen backing the brand, the same can be extended to other markets as well, making its the largest geographic deployment potential of any autonomous driving technology.

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