Volkswagen and Ford first entered a partnership two years ago in order to co-develop commercial vehicles. Nearly two years on and it seems we will see the fruits of this partnership very soon. In particular, the German and American automakers recently announced that three projects initially planned have now been green-lighted by the Volkswagen AG Supervisory.
The most interesting of the bunch include the development of a new pick-up truck, a van, and a 1-ton loader... yes, the kind used for construction.
Specific details about the pickup, van, and 1-ton loaders are still scarce about the moment. However, the announcement does give us an idea on which automaker will be doing more development on which model.
The midsize pickup truck will be mostly developed by Ford. Considering that Ford has more experience in building pickups (from the Ranger to the F-150) as compared to VW, it makes sense that the US automaker focuses development on this model. This truck will then be adapted by Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles for use in specific markets. As it is midsize, it will likely be based on the Ranger.
Volkswagen will then be responsible for the city delivery van. Meanwhile, Ford will then oversee planning and development for a new 1-ton loader... the construction variety.
In addition to the upcoming commercial vehicle models, the announcement also included the green lighting of using VW’s Modular Electric Toolkit (MEB) to develop a Ford electric vehicle (EV) in Europe. It was previously mentioned that Ford expects to produce some 600,000 EVs using VW’s MEB architecture. Unusually no new details were mentioned regarding the partnership and investment into Argo AI, a self-driving company. Instead, VW only says “additional projects may follow, as well as the investment in Argo AI”.
Alliances between automakers are nothing new. It helps both automakers cut development costs, which is essential given the current climate. As such, don’t be surprised if VW and Ford announce more collaboration projects in the future.