Late last year, Volkswagen's CFO said it's possible that the automaker with Ford to save the two companies a bit of money. Now, it appears the budding partnership between the automakers will be just a bit more involved.
Volkswagen and Ford will announce a deeper partnership at the Detroit Auto Show on Tuesday, Reuters reports, citing sources familiar with the matter. One of the sources told Reuters that "a global alliance is expected to be announced," but another source noted that talks were still ongoing.
Ford did not immediately returned requests for comment, and VW declined comment to Roadshow. Neither offered any comment to Reuters, but Ford did say talks between the two companies, which were already public knowledge, were "progressing well."
The alliance would likely focus on electrification and autonomy, according to Reuters. The partnership, if it turns out to be true, could see VW offering up its efforts in electrification (possibly including use of its MEB EV platform) while VW invests simultaneously in Ford's AV development. This would build upon a previous announcement from June where the two automakers confirmed a partnership focused on commercial vehicle development.
Volkswagen's MEB electric vehicle platform is hugely important, and it's not hard to see why Ford would have interest in it. VW's platform is flexible and will accommodate vehicles from compacts to vans, and the automaker hopes to one day have millions of its little babies out on the road. VW's first vehicles on this platform should enter production in the near future, with Europe slated to receive vehicles before the US. Some MEB cars will be built in China and the US in the future, as well.
While Ford is making many inroads on its own, partnership could save the company billions. In order to restructure itself for the future, Ford has essentially killed off nearly all of its sedans, while at the same time investing some $11 billion on EVs by 2022. By that year, the company expects to have 40 electrified (hybrid or full EV) models on sale globally.
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