Ford and Volkswagen are to expand their global alliance to include electric vehicles and will collaborate with Argo AI to introduce autonomous vehicle technology in the US and Europe to better serve customers and improve competitiveness, cost and capital efficiencies.
Volkswagen and Ford will integrate Argo AI’s self-driving system into purpose-built vehicles to support the distinct people and goods movement initiatives of both companies. In turn, Argo AI will work with the manufacturers to provide the autonomous vehicle technology needed to deliver fully integrated self-driving vehicles that can be manufactured at scale for safe, reliable and durable deployment in ride sharing and goods delivery services.
Ford and Volkswagen will have equal stakes in Argo AI. The full transaction represents a valuation for Argo AI of more than $7 billion.
Ford is to use Volkswagen’s dedicated electric vehicle architecture and Modular Electric Toolkit to deliver a high-volume zero-emission vehicle in Europe starting in 2023. Ford expects to deliver more than 600,000 European vehicles using the MEB architecture over six years, with a second all-new Ford model for European customers under discussion.
“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 Ford president and chief executive, Jim Hackett. “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.”