Automakers Ford and Volkswagen have announced a new partnership to collaborate on electric vehicles and investment in self-driving technology platform Argo AI. Both companies have taken an equal and majority stake in Argo AI.
As part of the investment in Argo AI Volkswagen will invest $2.6bn and Ford will invest the remaining $600 million of its previously announced $1bn cash commitment.
“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,” said Jim Hackett, Ford President and CEO.
He added “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.”
In addition, the partnership will see Ford use Volkswagen’s electric vehicle architecture and Modular Electric Toolkit – or MEB – to deliver a zero-emission vehicles in Europe at scale starting in 2023. Ford will be the first company outside Volksvagen’s group to make use of the MEB.
Continuing Ford’s $11.5bn commitment to EVs the company plans to deliver more than 600,000 cars for the European market based on the MEB architecture over the course of six years for the first model alone.
“Looking ahead, even more customers and the environment will benefit from Volkswagen’s industry-leading EV architecture. Our global alliance is beginning to demonstrate even greater promise, and we are continuing to look at other areas on which we might collaborate” said Dr. Herbert Diess Volkswagen CEO.