Volkswagen and Ford just made it official. After forming an alliance last year to leverage the strength of both companies in the commercial vehicle segment, the next-generation Volkswagen Amarok will be based on the all-new Ford Ranger.
This was confirmed after Volkswagen and Ford signed agreements that will expand their global alliance to meet the rapidly evolving needs of their respective customers in Europe, as well as in other parts of the globe. Not only will the two collaborate on making commercial vehicles (i.e. pick-up trucks and vans), both will also be co-developing electric vehicles using Volkswagen's MEB architecture and on autonomous vehicle technology.
“This alliance comes at a time of tremendous enthusiasm about the intersection of increasingly intelligent, connected vehicles in an ever-smarter world. This creates 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,” said Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford.
Ford and Volkswagen did not go into detail as to what the next-generation Amarok and Ranger will have in common aside from the platform. What we do know, however, is that the two trucks will have a bold and aggressive exterior design.
Three months ago, Volkswagen released a design sketch of the all-new Amarok which sports a bulging hood, distinct front grill, chunky fender flares, and an Atlas Tanoak-like front fascia. Meanwhile, a leaked photo of the purported next-generation Ford Ranger made its way onto the internet last year. Like the Amarok, it appears to look eerily similar to what Volkswagen designed, albeit sporting some changes here and there.
“This long-term cooperation with Ford will strengthen our very good position in the area of light commercial vehicles, especially in our core European markets, and is proof that we are successfully implementing our plan step by step,” said Thomas Sedran, Chairman of the Board of Management at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles.
As for the electric vehicle partnership, Ford will be utilizing Volkswagen's MEB platform to develop their own electric car that will be sold in Europe starting in 2023. Ford plans to build a total of 600,000 EVs in just a span of six years with the MEB platform. Other vehicles that the two brands will work on include a 1-ton cargo van and a smaller city van.
Additionally, Ford and Volkswagen will also both work with Argo AI to form a highly-capable self-driving system. The Blue Oval has already invested $1 billion in Argo AI back in 2017 and has introduced Volkswagen into the fold last year.
The companies estimate that the alliance will deliver up to a combined 8 million commercial vehicle sales that are part of the partnership. As for the new pick-up truck, the alliance plans to reveal them sometime in 2022. With the reveal still two years away, it will be quite the long wait before the all-new Ranger and Amarok make their world debut.