With the move, the carmakers have taken their billion-euro electric car and autonomous driving alliance to the next level as the two partners will share an AI-based platform for autonomous driving.
The two volume manufacturers intend to share the costs of new developments among themselves and to strengthen each other in times of crisis. "In view of the Covid 19 pandemic and its effects on the global economy, it is of crucial importance to form strong alliances between strong companies," said Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess at the signing of the agreement. The cooperation will reduce development costs and also strengthen the worldwide distribution of electric vehicles.
"This creates opportunities for solving global mobility issues - at the same time, companies have to decide carefully how to invest their money. The two companies confirmed that there are no plans for capital interlocking," said Jim Hackett, CEO of Ford.
The two partners had already announced an expansion of their alliance in July last year. Wolfsburg-based Volkswagen intends to supply its US partner with electric car components on a large scale. The primary aim of the cooperation is to be able to act faster in the market and make new technologies available to customers more quickly. This is especially true for electric mobility. In addition, the two partners expect the cooperation to produce major economies of scale to provide cost savings in development, procurement, production and maintenance.
Ford intends to use the Modular Electric Construction Kit (MEB) to build at least one zero-emission electric car in Europe in large-scale production from 2023. More than 600,000 units are expected to roll off the assembly line in the coming years. Volkswagen estimates the expected additional turnover to be between ten and 20 billion dollars. In addition, talks were already underway at the time to conclude a new supply contract for a second vehicle. Ford's electric car on this platform is to be developed and designed at the company's German headquarters in Cologne.