Ford and Volkswagen (VW) are expanding their global alliance to include the development of electric and autonomous vehicle technology in the US and Europe.
The automakers said the move positions “both companies to better serve customers while improving their competitiveness and cost and capital efficiencies”.
It follows an announcement in January 2019 in which the companies said they would be working together on the development of commercial vehicles.
As part of the expansion, VW is investing $2.6m in Argo AI, an autonomous vehicle platform company in which Ford invested in 2017. The two companies will own a substantial majority stake in Argo AI.
The investment allows both automakers to independently integrate Argo AI’s self-driving system into their own vehicles, delivering significant global scale.
Ford will gain access to VW’s electric vehicle technology, taking advantage of its scale to design and build a fully electric car in Europe.
Ford CEO Jim Hackett said: “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.
“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.”
In January, Ford and VW announced the global alliance which would see the automakers developing commercial vans and medium-sized pickups for global markets from 2022.
They said: “The alliance will drive significant scale and efficiencies and enable both companies to share investments in vehicle architectures that deliver distinct capabilities and technologies.”
Last month, Jaguar Land Rover and BMW announced they would be collaborating on the development of electric vehicles.
A joint team of engineers will be working together to further develop next generation electrification technology.
“The cooperation allows the BMW Group and Jaguar Land Rover to take advantage of cost efficiencies arising from shared development of future evolutions and production planning costs as well as economies of scale from joint purchasing,” they said.
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