Automakers Ford and Volkswagen have introduced a partnership immediately that covers quite a lot of areas, together with autonomy (through a brand new funding by VW in Argo AI) and collaboration on improvement of electrical automobiles. This EV tie-up will see Ford use Volkswagen’s MEB platform, which it’s utilizing because the core of its forthcoming line of client electrical automobiles, to develop “not less than one” absolutely electrical automobile for the European market that’s designed to be produced and bought at scale.
Volkswagen’s MEB is a giant guess by the German automaker, meant to supply for all-electric fashions what the MQB platform earlier than it did for the automaker’s inside combustion engine automobiles. The thought behind these platforms is that they’re modular and versatile sufficient to cowl a spread of various automobile varieties, whereas making certain that there’s sufficient of a repeatable core that the price of redevelopment from mannequin to mannequin is drastically decreased.
The MEB platform is already deliberate to be used throughout quite a lot of introduced automobiles to be launched by VW and VW-group automakers, together with Audi, SEAT, Skoda and extra between 2019 and 2023. Ford would be the first introduced automaker exterior of the Volkswagen Group to utilize the MEB. The automakers specify that their are solely concrete plans for one mannequin in the meanwhile, however the choice to broaden that to extra pending how that preliminary collaboration goes is baked into the deal.
Ford additionally plans to ship over 600,000 automobiles for the European market based mostly on the MEB structure over the course of six years for the primary mannequin alone, and the automakers word in a press launch that there are concerns for a second Ford mannequin based mostly on the platform to be developed. Ford says within the launch that that is simply a part of its total, ongoing dedication to EVs, and that its work on crossover and different imported U.S. market fashions together with Mustang and Exploer for Europe will proceed. Each automakers can even stay independently and individually owned.
The final particulars of a partnership between the 2 automakers was reported as within the works by Reuters earlier this month, however is now confirmed and official by each automakers. VW additionally beforehand introduced that German startup e.Go can be creating a automobile based mostly on the MEB, however particulars of that plan are usually not recognized and Ford is the primary firm that truly makes and delivers vehicles to utilize the Volkswagen Group tech in a mannequin with concrete launch timing and scale manufacturing intent.